Daily Management Review

Intel to invest $125 million in startups by women, minorities


The company tries to balance the skewed gender ratios in the highly-lucrative technology industry.

American chip maker Intel has announced that the company’s capital venture business will invest close to $125 million in startups founded by women and under-represented minorities.
The company’s CEO Brian Krzanich noted that this round of investment would be made available for the next five years and will be the first move from Intel in the way of uplifting women and minorities representation in the technology industry. He had earlier promised an investment of close to $300 million for this cause.
Intel means African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans by minorities. The company also clarified that Asian Americans will not come under this bracket as they are currently over-represented in the US startup scene. Three of the top executives should be a woman or a man or woman from a minority background to be eligible for the investment from Intel. Less than 1 percent of the founders of Silicon Valley companies are African American or Latino and nearly 100 percent of funded founders are white or Asian, according to industry surveys. Intel also clarified that LGBT members would not be considered as a minority because they are basing the calculation on Federal definition.
Intel aims to invest the money in technology as well as gaming industry. Sub-sects within these industry segments include the Internet of Things, the Maker movement, health care, and cybersecurity. The investment capital is part of the company’s existing budget as well as the capital Krzanich promised to be allotted to this cause.
As a kick starter, the company will invest around $16.7 million in four companies including Brit + Co, CareCloud, Mark One, and Venafi. Brit + Co is a San Francisco-based startup that plans launch a media and e-commerce platform for women. CareCloud is a Miami-based startup that connects health care providers to each other and their patients through a digital ecosystem. Mark One is also based in San Francisco and user the Intel Curie hardware module to create a smart cup that can analyze the drink and sync nutritional content into the user’s smartphone. Venafi based in Salt Lake City has built a trust protection platform for secure communications, commerce, computing, and mobility.
Besides the investments through the company’s business arm, Intel also has plans to reach full representation of women and minorities within the company’s employee base within 2020. 
In a statement, Krzanich said, “We believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results. Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology startup workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through their successes.”
In addition to the diversity fund, Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, mobility, consumer Internet, digital media, and semiconductor manufacturing.
Intel’s investment arm has invested more than $11.4 billion in over 1,400 companies in 57 countries.  Currently only 10 percent of Intel Capital’s portfolio companies are led by women and underrepresented minorities and around 13 percent of Intel Capital’s employees are also in those groups.
Apple Inc had also recently announced a $50 million donation to bring more diversity in the Technology sector. In its annual general meeting, the company announced that it would support the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Center for Women and Information Technology to help more women, minorities and veterans find work in tech. The company is looking at offering scholarships, training and paid internships to selected candidates.

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