Best Buy commits up to USD10m to Brown Venture Group's inaugural fund
Best Buy has committed up to USD10 million to venture capital firm Brown Venture Group's inaugural fund, which will fund Black, Latino and Indigenous technology entrepreneurs.
Brown Venture Group, a majority Black-led organisation, was founded in 2018 with the goal of raising USD50 million to invest in entrepreneurs of colour who in the past have not had access to venture capital and have experienced economic barriers to contribution.
The commitment by Best Buy builds on its recent announcement that it will spend at least USD1.2 billion with BIPOC and diverse businesses by 2025 with a focus on leaders in the tech industry.
"The partnership with Best Buy, represents an important shift in our business community from doing things for communities of Colour to investing and executing with communities of Colour in longer-term collaborative business relationships," says Brown Venture Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Dr Paul Campbell. "This hometown partnership is especially meaningful and Best Buy is to be commended for its commitment to co-creating solutions that will lead to greater economic flourishing for contributors of colour."
In addition to the monetary investment, Best Buy and Brown Venture Group will also work together to create a stronger community of diverse suppliers as well as launch an entrepreneurial partnership program at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to help develop young entrepreneurs through education, mentoring, networking and funding access.
"We're committed to taking meaningful action to address the challenges faced by BIPOC entrepreneurs," Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said. "Through partnerships like this, we believe we can begin to do this by helping to build a stronger, more vibrant community of diverse innovators in the tech industry, some of whom we hope will become partners of Best Buy in the future."
A 2020 Citigroup report estimates that if racial inequity gaps were closed today, the equivalent add to the U.S. economy over the next five years could be USD5 trillion of additional GDP.
"Best Buy's belief that technology changes lives is in sync with Brown Venture Group's premise that focusing on technology entrepreneurs not only will create greater economic flourishing in communities of colour, it will also unlock previously unrealised innovative capacity in the marketplace," says Brown Venture Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Dr Chris Brooks.
Brown Venture Group plans to invest in technology startups in various industries including clean energy and retail across the country as well as leverage the abundant startup talent that exists within the region and state of Minnesota.