Welcome to the Unseen Community!
The last six months have been, in a word, wild. We announced our $30M anchor from Eli Lilly & Co. (Read about it here on Bloomberg.) We’ve rapidly grown the Unseen Capital team. And we’re actively deploying capital and guidance to our founders and their teams.
Below is a recap of our first newsletter where you'll find updates on the companies we’re backing, the people we’re bringing into the fold and the trends we’re keeping our eyes on.
Find it interesting? Subscribe above.
Bandwagon founder Harold Hughes highlights his entrepreneurial journey and drops some “why Unseen?” thoughts.
The beginnings of Bandwagon are rooted in my own identity challenges. I’m a first-gen Jamaican-American. As the world was starting to understand exactly what systemic and literal racism in America looks like, I felt compelled to do something. So I sought out how to create better experiences for people to get out of their comfort zones and connect with others who don’t look like them in the hopes of bringing them together. Our flagship products, Aura and IdealSeat, help brands do that for their audiences.
Getting people out of their comfort zone is what we’re trying to do, but our level of comfort with Unseen has been effortless. We share the same values. We have a shared philosophy when it comes to taking risks to chart a path for minority founders that come after us. (If they can see us, they can be us, right?) We both value the mental health of our team members. We put collaboration over competition. We both believe in doing the work. As an underrepresented founder, I take true comfort knowing that Unseen is behind us.
Follow Harold on Twitter and learn more about Bandwagon at bandwagonfanclub.com.
Committed to Equitable Access to Capital
Google’s director of health equity and product inclusion—and Unseen Capital advisor—Dr. Ivor Horn talks about how we get underrepresented founders what they need.
It’s about access.
I’ve spent my career developing, implementing and evaluating diversity and inclusion strategies within the venture-backed healthtech and health systems spaces and, unequivocally, access to capital is the most significant hurdle to success. Black founders are less likely to be venture-backed than their White and Asian founder counterparts. Only 14 percent of Black women founders are on the receiving end of venture capital. Black founders that do receive venture capital report smaller average deal sizes, signaling that Black founders experience larger barriers to accessing capital and investors than White and Asian founders do.
By committing to equitable access to capital, we’re arming underrepresented founders with the resources they need to build transformative digital health solutions for underserved populations.
Follow Dr. Horn Twitter at @drivorhorn and read her recent byline on Stat: New Survey Establishes a Data-Driven Baseline for Diversity in Digital Health.
Portfolio & Partner News
- We'll be at BVCC’s 3rd Annual Summer Pitch Competition.
- The Black Voices for Black Justice Fund is providing $50k grants directly to black leaders focused on racial justice efforts. The award is given directly to the leader, and they can designate the award however they’d like to toward efforts that advance an anti-racist America. Nominations are open.
- MATTER has launched BRIDGE, a free mentorship resources for entrepreneurs of color. Become a mentor.
- Diversity Innovation Hub selects eight incubator winners.
- Radical Health and Ayana Therapy made Village Capital and J&J Impact Ventures' accelerator for culturally competent healthcare companies.
What We're Reading
- J&J, Village Capital unveil 12 startups building culturally competent care in new accelerator (MedCityNews)
- Teletherapy Aimed to Make Mental Health Care More Inclusive. The Data Show a Different Story (TIME)
- Nike Breaks Down Its $140 Million USD Investment in the Black Community (Hypebeast)
- Rush receives $10M donation to launch health equity institute (Becker’s Hospital Review)
- Race And Ethnicity Are Bigger Risks In Childbirth Than Age, New Study Shows (Forbes)
- CMS technology payments are critical to addressing health inequity (Mobihealthnews)