Intel Capital allocates $125 million to fund firms with women and minorities in top roles

By MoneyTimes

Jun 12, 2015 09:26 AM EDT

Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of the global chip maker- Intel Corp, on Tuesday announced to allocate $125 million fund to back companies with women and minorities in leadership roles. This comes after its pledge in January to spend to $300 million over the next five years to promote diversity in the company.

"This move is aimed to bring more management diversity to its start-up firms. A part of the said fund overlaps with the $300 million fund," Intel said.

"It is part of our Diversity in Technology Initiative. We have declared to achieve full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in our US workforce by 2020," Intel posted on its official blog.  

Here the startups with woman or minorities including Blacks, Latinos or Native American as chief executive or founder, or at least three executives reporting to the CEO are eligible.   In January CEO of Intel Brian Krzanich pledged $300 million as diversity fund to get full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. firms.

This initiative of Intel comes in the backdrop of technology companies facing heavy criticism for overpowering its workforce with male and white individuals. This some argue results in an ambience that discourages women and minorities from aspiring to work in technology, or the fear of being deprived from growth.  

Global companies- Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc., and Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have all been slapped with gender discrimination lawsuits. To quell this dominance, the National Venture Capital Association has been working to rope in more women and minorities into venture firms and to fund more companies run by them. 

According to a recent Babson College report, In US, only 15 per cent of venture capital funded firms have a woman on the executive team. And, the companies with woman CEO receive only three percent of total venture capital dollars.

To steer the endeavor as an example, the diversity fund will be led by Lisa Lambert, who is an African-American and also the managing director of Intel Capital.

"Allocated fund will be invested in best talent from a myriad of background to cultivate innovations that serve the needs of diverse public," said Lisa.

 "So far, we have found more than 100 startups that would qualify for the diversity fund," she added.

Intel Capital has already invested $16.7 million on an initial four investments including a company led by a woman. The four companies - Brit & Co, doing business as Brit +Co., aimed at women and girls; health-care Company Care Cloud Corp; Cyber Security Company Venafi inc., and Mark One Lifestyle Inc. that make smart cups which recognizes beverages poured in it. 

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