VC Include announces it’s inaugural VCI Fellowship for BIPOC Fund I emerging managers

VC Include
3 min readDec 14, 2020

VC Include is building the infrastructure needed for best in class Black, LatinX, Indigenous and women-led fund managers to scale. We’re proud to announce the VC Include (VCI) Fellowship in 2021. Our inaugural fellowship is focused on BIPOC first-time fund managers. Applications open today, December 14, 2020, with the support of VISA Foundation, UBS and Blue Haven Initiative and other partners. Click here to apply.

“Our VCI Fellowship for BIPOC first-time fund managers is the first of its kind, and signals a sea change in building best in class VC and impact fund managers. In the past, diverse fund managers had to work 10x harder than their white male counterparts to fundraise and outperform the market, and the data confirms that diverse managers outperform. Before the rise of COVID-19 and destruction of Black and LatinX businesses, diverse and women-led asset managers in the U.S. hovered around 1% of the $70 trillion of Assets Under Management (AUM). We’re left with a massive opportunity for alpha-minded asset allocators to begin thinking differently about their portfolios and their fiduciary responsibility to invest in high potential funds. We’re excited to train and grow a pipeline of best in class, diverse managers over the coming decades,” says VC Include Founder, Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson.

We encourage Black and LatinX GPs launching their first fund to apply. The application deadline is January 15, 2021, and the program will start in late February 2021. We’re especially interested in supporting fund managers throughout the U.S. that integrate racial, regional and gender lens strategies. Graham Macmillan, President, Visa Foundation, states, “Visa Foundation is proud to partner with VC Include, furthering our commitment to addressing systemic barriers facing women and diverse fund managers. We are excited to support the growth of these fund managers as well as to see the impact they will have on unlocking capital for Black, LatinX and Indigenous entrepreneurs.”

This national effort is the first fellowship of it’s kind specifically designed to engage first-time BIPOC fund managers raising between $10–100M. Bahiyah shares, “We’re engaged nationally because there are so many cities and regions that are ripe with investment opportunities, and we know that on average, diverse managers invest in diverse founders. Capitalizing these outliers will drive local and regional investments at scale, so that the U.S. economy can grow and engage the innovation potential of all Americans.” Bahiyah officially founded VC Include (VCI) in 2018, after working with diverse founders and realizing that there wasn’t enough capital at the diverse fund manager level to invest in those highly skilled innovators.

Jamie Sears, Head of Community Affairs & Corporate Responsibility, UBS Americas, affirms, “Making access to capital more inclusive is crucial in creating a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem. UBS is thrilled to partner with VC Include, to launch the inaugural VCI BIPOC Fellowship to advance and support more diverse asset managers that will in turn, lead to increased capital flows to founders of color.”

Liesel Prtizker Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal, Blue Haven Initiative, declares, “At Blue Haven, we’re always looking for the best investment ideas from the smartest teams. VCI’s unique position to support and elevate a group of wildly talented, diverse, first-time fund managers will be game-changing for the industry for sure, and we’re thrilled to be part of the journey!”

We encourage Black and LatinX first-time fund managers to visit our website for more information.

“The VCI Fellowship for BIPOC first-time fund managers is an opportunity to steward diversity, specifically focused on fund managers in VC and impact asset classes. We are looking forward to receiving applications and working with the first cohort of Fellows, to provide a unique experience that will bolster the competitive edge of these Fellows,” said Dharmishta Rood, Director of Programs and Partners at VC Include.

For investment firms, financial institutions and family offices looking to partner with VC Include on the VCI Fellowship and other programs, please contact Dharmishta Rood.



VC Include

VC Include accelerates investment into diverse emerging managers to drive economic economic growth in new markets.