It’s 2020, and the pitch room is inaccessible to minorities, Black, and People of Color. The glaring inequalities in the VC field are out in public for several years, and the initiative to get rid of this issue is well underway.
According to Diversity.VC in 2019, just 30% of those working in venture capital were women. The British Business Bank found in 2019 that less than 1p of every £1 of venture capital spent in the UK went to all-female founding teams.
As per Atomico’s respected State of European Tech report, just 0.9% of founders in Europe are Black. The Chartered Institute for IT records in 2019 that there were 268,000 Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) IT specialists in the UK, accounting for 18% of IT workers, a number that has increased by 2% over the past five years from 16% in 2015).
Newton Venture Program
In an attempt to address all these shortcomings and shortage of formal training for careers in VC, London Business School, and top European seed investor LocalGlobe have devised two programmes designed to provide formal business education for roles across the venture capital sector.
Called the Newton Venture Program, the course covers the full spectrum in the venture ecosystem right from VC investors to Limited Partners, angel investors, accelerators, and tech transfer officers. This programme aims at getting more underrepresented groups (mostly women, Black, and minority candidates) into the sector.
In a bid to make it more diverse and equally representative, cohorts will target a gender split of 50/50, with at least 50% coming from BAME backgrounds.
Price, scholarships, and more
Prices start from £2,050 (approx €2,260) for the online programme, and around £16,000 (approx €18,000) for the on-campus programme at London Business School, which consists of several modules throughout the year. Scholarships of up to 100% are available for both programmes.
Backed by a grant from Research England, a part of UKRI, Newton is inviting additional support from funding partners across the VC ecosystem. Notably, LocalGlobe and Phoenix Court Works are committed to sponsoring 20 digital scholarships.
What to expect?
The programme will give cohorts direct access to experts from top-performing global VC firms (such as a16z, Benchmark, USV, and others) and experienced entrepreneurs and their founding teams. Leading academic authorities on the VC industry — for example Luisa Alemany, Julian Birkinshaw, Gary Dushnitsky, and Florin Vasvari — will teach key concepts, lead case-study discussions, and share their latest research insights with participants.
On top of that, cohorts will also learn subjects, including how to source and win deals, venture financial and legal, fund management, and how to support portfolio companies. Students will also be able to take part in industry roundtables, local city meetups and become part of the Newton Alumni network.
However, the on-campus programme aims at those with five to 15 years of overall work experience. It will include participants who are already investors as well as those with strong operational backgrounds looking to become investors.
The syllabus will include time spent at sponsoring VC firms, experience with top-tier venture capital investors and limited partners, work with tech transfer offices, accelerator offices, and other partners and sponsors. Each participant will benefit from one-to-one mentoring and complete deep-dive modules covering specific industries and technologies, from fintech to AI.
Starts from April 2021
There will be two cohorts a year, of up to 60 students, with the first online programme set to start in April 2021. The first on-campus cohort will start in October 2021. Applicants are welcome to apply from anywhere around the world; the majority are expected to be from the UK, the EU, Africa, and Israel.
Main image credits: Localglobe