FUTURE CAPITAL LAUNCHES AS NETWORK TO EDUCATE, CONNECT UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS IN VENTURE CAPITAL

FUTURE CAPITAL LAUNCHES AS NETWORK TO EDUCATE, CONNECT UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS IN VENTURE CAPITAL

Incubated at Highline Beta as part of Female Funders, where the startup conducted initial consumer research and concept testing, Future Capital is looking to play matchmaker between new and aspiring investors and startups, while providing tools and learning experiences. The startup’s full suite of learning products is available to accredited and non-accredited investors.

“The resistance towards diversifying the pool of investors and decision-makers in business is simply delaying the inevitable.”

Future Capital aims to provide female, BIPOC, and LGBTQ leaders with the skills to invest in early-stage ventures, enabling them to participate in the next generation of high-growth businesses as investors, advisors, and board members, and close the gap faced by women and other underrepresented groups.

“We believe in opportunity-based investment education,” said Marlon Thompson, founder and CEO of Future Capital. “When you train for your driver’s licence, the material, practical experience, and testing is all designed to put you in the driver’s seat. We take the same approach to investing. We’ve cultivated a network of high-potential ventures, VC, and syndicate partners, and high networth individuals that are ready to be matched. We teach investors how to work with a new asset class, and then we hand them the keys.”

Future Capital, which currently is composed of three employees, began offering a series of live stream sessions in April as part of a soft launch. Since that time, the startup claims to have educated over 150 women, showcased 10 pre-seed to series A companies, and unlocked nearly $500,000 in startup financing from first-time angel investors and limited partners in emerging funds. 

RELATED: Report: Underrepresented workers disproportionately impacted by layoffs amid COVID-19

Future Capital is being funded, in part, as a project through Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster. The initial project had a listed budget of $1.2 million, with $700,000 promised from project partners Microsoft, Simon Fraser University, and Female Funders, and co-investment from the Supercluster program of $500,000. Thompson would not specify how much of the $1.2 million has been released to Future Capital, noting that the amount is “in flux” due to COVID-19.

Underrepresentation of women and visible minorities in the technology sector has been a longstanding issue, particularly in financing. A report from the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, in late November, highlighted how in Canada men are four times more likely to receive venture capital and angel investments than women, while venture capital applications by women were dismissed 53 percent of the time compared to 38 percent for men.

A report released by Humi, in November, highlighted how women comprise 30 percent of the tech workforce and women and visible minorities remain significantly underrepresented in leadership positions.

“Canada and the US are moving towards majority-minority populations in the next generation,” said Thompson. “The resistance towards diversifying the pool of investors and decision-makers in business is simply delaying the inevitable. Building products, services, brands, and communities that speak to the majority of consumers requires cap tables that accurately reflect the make-up of our communities. We’ve already partnered with venture capital firms, syndicate groups, individual angel investors and accelerators to connect the dots.” 

UPDATE 09/12/20: This article previously incorrectly stated that Future Capital is based in Toronto. It is headquartered in Vancouver. The article has been updated to reflect this.


Original article on Betakit by Scott McLean, December 9th 2020