A Message from James Norman and Transparent Collective

I hope all of you are safe and well. I’ve been taking some time to reflect on the state of affairs, and I want to use this opportunity to write a personal note to all those who believe in the Collective.

I, and the entire Transparent Collective team, stand in solidarity with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other Black people who have died at the hands of law enforcement.

As a Black man, I’m all too familiar with racial injustice. It has been a fact of life, my entire life. So when we speak about police brutality, some of us already know too well that this has been happening cyclically since we were children and for generations before that. However, we cannot give in and become desensitized. I am tired, no doubt, but it’s time to accelerate our work for change.

Additionally, Ahmad Aubrey and Christian Cooper show that racism is prevalent beyond law enforcement and more work must be done to keep the momentum moving towards racial equality. This is a social change moment unlike any other in my lifetime (and perhaps yours as well), and I ask that we work together to take advantage of the momentum.

Please do the work to educate yourself on the policing practices of your local community, vocalize, vote, and donate. There are many sources out there already, so I will not include those here. Rather, what I do ask is that you can join me in fighting for racial equality through Transparent Collective.

I started Transparent Collective with a team of passionate investors, founders, and tech experts in order to help underrepresented founders get access to the funding and resources they need. As a Black founder, I struggled with access to those valuable resources myself. In 4 years, we have helped 27 Black founders raise over $30 million in early-stage funding, but there is still a lot more work to be done. Black founders account for only 1% of venture capital funding and 81% of VC firms do not have a black investor. Here are some ways you can support our cause:

For investors (#HireorWire):

  • Hire more Black investors in your firm — As has been my experience, non-Black investors do not understand products created by Black founders for Black communities. By hiring more Black investors, you expand your scope of understanding and make smarter investments.
  • Invest in Black founders — Here is a list of Black founders I helped compile.
  • If you’re an LP, invest in Black-led funds who make it a point to include Black startups in their portfolio.

For Black founders:

  • Apply to TC — We are always accepting applications and looking at taking our program remote this year to continue to support underrepresented founders. Please share with Black, Latinx, and women founders looking for resources to build successful tech companies.
  • List of resources for Black founders by the Founder Institute.

For the community:

  • Become a sponsor — Help us continue to run our programs and give resources to Black founders. We also appreciate it if you share this link with corporations and tech companies looking for ways to support underrepresented founders.
  • Donate to TC — We are a 501(c)(3) and our programs are complimentary. Your donations help us to continue to serve our community.

You will be hearing from TC more in the coming weeks about new plans to advance these initiatives, keep investors accountable, and continue the momentum.

Now is the time. Thank you for standing with me.

James Norman
Partner, Transparent Collective

#BlackLivesMatter

Please share these resources with investors, founders, and community members looking to do their part to fight racial inequality.

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