How women and VCs of color are finding impact alpha with first-time funds

ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

ImpactAlpha, Mar. 30 – Shayna Harris and Noramay Cadena of Chicago and L.A.-based Supply Change Capital are backing women and entrepreneurs of color who are charting the way to a more robust and resilient food system. That could be a $100 billion opportunity by 2045 as minority populations collectively become the majority in the U.S. and command greater spending power.

Operating at the intersection of impact and diversity provides a unique lens and “is so much who we are and who we are networked with,” Harris told ImpactAlpha.

VC Include, which connects diverse general partners with institutional limited partners, awarded fellowships to Supply Change and more than a dozen other emerging managers targeting investments in underrepresented tech-focused founders, plant-based food startups, wealth for workers of color and low-income communities.

“These are alpha-focused impact strategies led by diverse managers,” VC Include’s Bahiyah Robinson told ImpactAlpha (see, “Diverse fund managers are ready to shift capital at scale”).

Among the new fellows are Aaron Walker’s Ruthless for Good Fund in New Orleans, Sergio Marrero’s Rebel One fund in Chicago, Reign VC in New York led by Monique Idlett-Mosley and Erica Duignan, Anita C Roberts’ Silicon Hills Capital/Narrow The Gap Fund in Austin, and Todd Leverette and Philip Reeves’ Apis & Heritage in Washington D.C. All the debut funds are raising between $25 and $55 million and already cutting checks.

First-time and emerging fund managers attracted only a little over 11% of capital raised last year. Commitments to first-time funds pay off at a greater rate than their later fund peers. As of the middle of last year, 17.7% of first-time funds had an internal rate of return of more than 25%, compared with 11.3% of firms’ fourth funds or later, per Pitchbook.