Dominion of New York


May 25, 2012

Angel Investor Group Looking for Black, Latino Entrepreneurs

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Written by: Kelly Virella
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Photo Courtesy of Flickr/401k


s the tanning of America accelerates, some wealthy people are digging deeper into their entrenched positions and defending their privileges. Others are opening their pockets to give outsiders — particularly people of color — a chance.

The Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP) — launched earlier this month — is specifically looking to help women and people of color finance their businesses. And get this — your business doesn’t have to be in hi-tech to be eligible. One of the co-founders — Ed Dandridge, president & chief executive officer of the National Association of Investment Companies — told The Network Journal that VCAP is looking for the next Bobbi Brown, the skin care entrepreneur who launched a brand targeting women of color; the next Ray Krock, the founder of McDonald’s; and the next Carlos Slim — the Mexican telecom/retail/consumer finance tycoon.

PR Newswire why VCAP values sectors other than tech: “Research has proven that investors who focus in less-contested sectors and who source proprietary investments get superior returns. VCAP provides our members with a pipeline of unique opportunities.”

VCAP is a joint venture between the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York (HBSAANY) and The National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC). Dandridge described to The Network Journal his rationale for starting VCAP: “By 2050, minorities will constitute the majority of our society, and along with women, they will be the engine driving our economy.”

The founders also cite as their rationale the historical entrepreneurial success of women and people of color, according to PR Newswire.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce & the Minority Business Development Agency, between 2002 and 2007, diverse-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-diverse firms in gross receipts and employment. During the same period, paid employment of diverse businesses grew by 24% compared to a decrease in employment of 1.1% for non-diverse firms.

A subsidiary of NAIC — The Marathon Foundation — is administering VCAP. The deadline for the first round of applications was May 18. Check The Marathon Foundation’s website for the application guidelines and the deadline for the next cycle of applications.  

About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.