Press Release | October 03, 2019

CTA Diversity Commitment Progress: Invests in Two More Firms, Convenes Tech Giants and Startups on D&I

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® – owner and producer of CES®, the world’s largest, most influential tech event – today announced the selection of two new funds to receive part of CTA’s $10 million commitment, announced at CES 2019, to invest in venture firms dedicated to funding women, people of color and other underrepresented entrepreneurs. CTA also launched its Diversity & Inclusion Working Group with 40 CTA member companies to create greater access and mobility for traditionally underrepresented communities and foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.

$10 Million Diversity and Inclusion Fund

The two venture firms receiving CTA investments are Rethink Impact, which funds female leaders using technology to solve the world’s biggest problems; and Founders First Capital Partners, which invests in service-based companies led by women, ethnic minorities, military veterans, inclusive teams and businesses located in low- to moderate-income areas.

CTA announced the first two investments in July of this year – Harlem Capital Partners and SoGal Ventures – and is continuing to make the tech industry a more inclusive environment for all.

“Research shows diverse leaders and teams make better decisions and reach greater results,” said Tiffany Moore, senior vice president, political and industry affairs, CTA. “CTA is committed to changing the face of tech entrepreneurship and providing greater access to venture funding. Our investment in venture funds dedicated to providing funding for women and diverse entrepreneurs is central to our mission.”

Through their distinct missions, both Founders First and Rethink Impact focus on a common goal – giving women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups an opportunity to lead, driving forward the evolution of entrepreneurship in the tech industry.

“As an institutional-scale venture capital firm dedicated to investing in women using tech to tackle the world’s greatest problems, we are deeply passionate about increasing the flow of capital to female leaders and building the ecosystem more broadly,” said Jenny Abramson and Heidi Patel, managing partners, Rethink Impact. “With an investor base made up of 50% women from across the majority of states and with a firm led by women, we are excited to have CTA’s support to help change the gender inequity in this space”

“Our mission is to provide revenue-based growth capital to fund and grow tech-enabled, service-based businesses and those led by underrepresented founders,” said Kim Folsom, co-founder and CEO, Founders First Capital Partners. “CTA’s support will help our firm provide a pathway for underserved businesses to expand and become larger companies that are major catalysts for growing and retaining premium wage jobs in their communities.”

New Working Group to Advance Industry Diversity and Inclusion

CTA’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group is a leadership forum to create greater access and mobility for women, people of color, and other traditionally underrepresented communities and foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
 
“The founding members of CTA’s working group will lead an important national dialogue to help inform their business practices and share ways to prioritize diversity. Our goal is to deliver the benefits of a diverse, inclusive workforce – one that features the best and brightest our nation has to offer – to future generations of tech sector workers, companies across the technology industry and America’s global competitiveness,” said Moore.

A recent CTA study shows women and underrepresented groups together hold only one-third of all tech jobs. Comprising chief diversity officers and leaders responsible for creating diversity and inclusion programs, the CTA working group – which is open to all CTA member organizations – will develop short- and long-term goals to shape companies’ strategic initiatives, helping employers to create inclusive cultures where all employees can engage comfortably.

Members of CTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group can be found at CTA.tech.