Intel has launched a new Diversity Fund to invest in technology start-ups run by women and underrepresented minorities.
Investment will be available to new companies across a variety of industries. Intel noted that at present, according to a recent Babson College report, only 15 per cent of venture capital-funded firms in the US have a woman on the executive team.
Businesses with a woman CEO also only receive three per cent of total venture capital funding, while less than one per cent of founders of Silicon Valley firms are African American or Latino. Nearly 100 per cent of funded founders are said to be either white or Asian.
Four start-ups have already received investment from the Diversity Fund, including media and e-commerce platform Brit + Co, cloud tech and services firm CareCloud, ‘smart cup’ outfit Mark One and cyber security company Venafi.
The news follows Intel’s announcement in January that it planned to encourage more diversity at both the company and the wider technology industry. It hopes to achieve "full representation" of women and underrepresented minorities in its US workforce by 2020.
“We are proud to take a leading role toward broader participation in technology entrepreneurship and employment,” said Intel Capital MD and VP Lisa Lambert (pictured), who is leading the Intel Capital Diversity Fund.
“With this new fund, Intel Capital is committed to investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to cultivate innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public.”
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich added: “We believe a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results. Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology start-up workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through its success."