Bridging the Startup Funding Gap

April 20, 2023
Zoom Webinar

For women and underrepresented minorities

Thursday, April 20, 2023 |9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CT

Virtual event

(Event will be live-streamed from the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC)

The staggering imbalance of startup funding available to founders who are women or underrepresented minorities is not only inequitable but creates unrealized innovation and investment returns. Founders who are women, Black or Latinx each receive less than 2% of the startup funding available from venture capital—well out of proportion to the number of women and underrepresented minorities in the population.

This persistent reality has inspired a search for solutions by the WashU Olin Brookings Commission, a panel of successful founders, funders and policy experts who have examined the root causes of this enduring inequity. Their work has produced a slate of policy recommendations aimed at guiding the venture capital industry, founders and government policymakers toward solutions to this inequity.

Join us for a presentation from members of the WashU Olin Brookings Commission to see for yourself what’s behind this imbalance in startup support—and what can be done to help realize all innovation.

Can’t join us in person?

Register here to attend virtually.



Lori Coulter, MBA 1999

Co-founder and CEO,


Morgan DeBaun, AB 2012

Founder and CEO, Blavity;

Advisory Board Member, Black Economic Alliance

Akeem Shannon

Founder and CEO,



Charli Cooksey

Founder and CEO,


Andre Perry

Senior Fellow,

The Brookings Institution


Christine Aylward

Founder and Managing Partner,

Magnetic Ventures

Martin Hunt


Swanlaab USA Ventures


Doug Villhard

Commission Chair;

Professor of Practice and Academic Director for Entrepreneurship,

WashU Olin Business School

Dedric Carter

Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Chief Commercialization Officer, WashU;

Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship, WashU Olin Business School

Dan Elfenbein

Professor of Organization and Strategy,

WashU Olin Business School

Gisele Marcus

Professor of Practice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,

WashU Olin Business School

Ming zhu Wang

PhD student, Strategy and Entrepreneurship,

WashU Olin Business School

Aditi Vashist

PhD student, Organizational Behavior,

WashU Olin Business School

Presented by the WashU Olin Brookings Commission, a joint initiative of WashU Olin Business School and the Brookings Institution, with support from The Bellwether Foundation.

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