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Call it the new face of venture capital. Kapor Capital is quietly building one of the youngest, most talented and most diverse teams of venture capitalists in the industry. That team includes Brian Dixon, who at 34, is one of the youngest African-American male VC partners in the country.
Kapor Capital, in downtown Oakland, is one arm of a family of organizations built by software entrepreneur Mitch Kapor and his wife, Freada Kapor Klein, to boost inclusion in the tech industry. With a portfolio of more than 100 ventures – more than half with a woman or person of color on the founding team – the decade-old impact investment firm is turning Silicon Valley’s diversity problem into a generational opportunity.
“It starts with the team,” says Dixon, who got started in entrepreneurship at age 16 by customizing sneakers and selling them on eBay. Last year Kapor brought on Ellen Pao, the former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner, who has helped bring attention to discriminatory behavior rampant in Silicon Valley. Earlier this month, the firm promoted to partner Ulili Onovakpuri, the former director of programs at Village Capital. Six of the eight people on Kapor Capital’s investment team are people of color; half are women.
But this is not diversity for diversity’s sake. “What tends to get lost is, it’s also great for business,” Dixon told ImpactAlpha. “We’re going to see a company with a diverse set of founders solving a problem that hasn’t been solved before because of their particular lens. That is the opportunity that, as investors, you’re always looking for.”
Read the full interview with Kapor Capital's Brian Dixon by Amy Cortese at ImpactAlpha.