Sunday, August 13, 2017

How VCs get inadvertently biased

At dinner recently with a VC friend.

VC: I think VCs only judge companies based on how lucrative they are likely to be.  I don't think any VCs actually discount a pitch because it is coming from a woman or minority.  When you were pitching, did you think anyone judged you on anything other than your business?

Me: Several VCs said to me, "This is the first time I'm meeting you, so it will be very tough for me to feel comfortable writing a check for someone I have never met before." 

VC: Ok, that happens.

Me: How many black or Hispanic entrepreneurs are those VCs regularly spending time with?  Probably very few.  So the people they have known for years and feel comfortable backing are going to be other men in their circle.  That is how the bias plays out, even when the VC is trying to stay unbiased.