Diverse teams can have a huge impact. In fact, data consistently shows that it’s a superpower. And there’s no better showcase of this than the investments made by Ascend Venture Capital, a St. Louis-based firm and current CIC member. Featured in CIC’s 2022 milestone clients blog post, Ascend has since developed a program to double down on diverse teams to enhance portfolio growth.
For context, it is typical that only 1-5% of venture capital investments go to founders representing underrepresented groups. However, data over the past decade has shown that these teams have outperformed industry-wide averages. In contrast, Ascend has invested 63 percent of its funds in diverse teams, despite having no specific mandate to do so; rather, it’s in direct pursuit of outsize returns. We spoke with Dan Conner, Ascend Founder and General Partner, to learn more about the Opportunity Fund initiative, a few standout portfolio members, and Ascend’s outlook for the year ahead.
How the Ascend Opportunity Fund 1.0 was created
Founded in 2015, Ascend Venture Capital’s goal has been focused on making mission-critical, data-centric investments, while staying conscious of overall ethics and values. Since the pandemic,…