Cat Hernandez spent nearly a decade operating before moving into venture, six years ago.
She has often said that while becoming a VC was somewhat accidental, not a day goes by that she doesn't appreciate the privilege of her position and the importance of using it to help others rise. For Cat, leveling the playing field as a woman, person of color, and first-generation immigrant comes from a deeply personal place — she has said that she gets what it means to be misunderstood, overlooked, and underestimated.
These days, she operates with the core belief that she, as is the case for other financiers of the future, is responsible for investing in companies that aspire to reduce the varying layers of palpable inequity in society. This year is living proof that change is not only necessary, but woefully overdue.
If you are similarly obsessed with creating opportunity and expanding access within the future of work, health & wellness, finance, education, and sustainability then Cat would love to meet you. You can find her on all the platforms using the username: @catmhernandez and I sure do hope you say “hello”. Stay happy, healthy, and safe in the meantime.
Equity. Diversity. Inclusion. Underrepresentation.
Powerful words that if heard often enough might inspire change.
Sometimes, however, when words fail to inspire
us to action, numbers can be more compelling. Here are some you should know:
Women-Led Startups Received just 2.3% of VC Funding in 2020, according to The Harvard Business Review
In 2020 Black and Latinx founders raised just 2.6 percent of the total VC funding for U.S. startups, according to Crunchbase data, a slight increase from the 2.3% of all US venture dollars they raised in 2019.
Clearly there is a problem. Everyone knows it. But there seems to be no consensus about how to fix it.
While we do not expect to solve the problem of underfunded underrepresented founders in one afternoon, we do expect to discuss some concrete steps and plans that might move us closer to a place we all agree we need to go.