Making startups more inclusive

Hoping to diversify the startup ecosystem and to support women in tech, 25 Dutch venture capital investors (VCs) and TechLeap.NL (formerly known as StartupDelta) have committed to #FundRight, a new project aiming to support women and diversity in the startup ecosystem. They have also signed a diversity statement and are actively encouraging other VCs to follow their lead. 

The idea for #FundRight was partially inspired by the publication of a survey of private investment funds in the autumn of 2019. It revealed that only 1.6% of venture capital money in the Netherlands goes to women founders and just 6.8% goes to companies led by mixed-gender teams. 

Investing in women founders

The VCs participating in #FundRight have also committed to various goals to ensure the project’s success, including: 

  • ensuring a ‘significant percentage’ of companies they invest in are co-founded by women 
  • publishing a yearly report produced by TechLeap.NL that features key statistics on gender diversity as it relates to Dutch venture capital investors and the companies in their portfolios

     

  • actively disseminating statements and sharing experiences and approaches while pursuing the goal of having all Dutch venture capital investors participating in #FundRight by 2022. 

In a statement, Alexander Ribbink, general partner at Keen Venture Partners, said: “#FundRight is an industry initiative to address the diversity problem and develop stronger VCs and startups. Mixed teams outperform mono-teams and VCs and startups that embrace diversity make themselves more versatile, resilient and stronger. With #FundRight, we want to create awareness and change in the venture capital industry, contributing to a stronger startup ecosystem.”

A thriving finance industry

The firms that have signed up to participate in #FundRight collectively manage €1 billion worth of assets, representing 25% of the total assets managed by VC investors in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is a major player in the country’s finance industry, which accounts for more than 200,000 jobs. Dozens of international banks have offices in the city as well, including Norinchukin and the European Investment Bank, and it has been named one of the world’s top centres for green finance by the Global Green Finance Index.