This article originally appeared in BostInno. While a lack of diversity in tech remains a glaring issue, it seems that an increasing number of organizations—from major corporations to educational institutions—are doing something about it. Now, OpenView Venture Partners is announcing a new strategic partnership with Startup Institute that’s set to be mutually beneficial, helping both parties bolster diversity within the startup and VC spheres in The Hub.
The partnership represents Startup Institute’s first-ever with a venture capital firm.
“It’s no secret that the tech community suffers from a diversity problem,” said OpenView partner Devon McDonald in a press statement. “Through our partnership with Startup Institute, we’re aiming to source a more diverse talent pool for our own portfolio and serve as an example for the VC community. By partnering with the Institute, we’re providing an avenue to open up a dialogue around diversity issues within this space and hope to expose a more diverse group to the inner-workings of life at a venture capital firm.”
Startup Institute is aimed at helping professionals build the skills, mindset and networks necessary to get a job in an early-stage or high-growth company and succeed in a new career. And the institute has been looking to make diversity within the tech community a priority, instilling the cultural awareness needed to thrive in a startup environment. To date, 41 percent of Startup Institute students have been women and 35 percent have been students of color.
“Startup Institute goes out of its way to make sure students of all ages and backgrounds succeed in their programs,” said Rebecca Churt, the OpenView marketer who is leading partnership efforts, in a news release. “At OpenView, we’re not just looking for the best and brightest talent to source for our portfolio, we aim to build a diverse workforce that can serve to make our portfolio companies the best they can be.”
OpenView Venture Partners, meanwhile, is an expansion-stage B2B software VC firm with nearly $700 million in total capital under management. The firm provides portfolio companies with a range of value-add services through OpenView Labs, from market research to sales strategy. Startup Institute students will now gain insider access to that VC community and its useful resources. And OpenView can now actively recruit from Startup Institute’s diverse talent pool in Boston, Chicago and New York.
In the coming months, OpenView and Startup Institute will team up on an array of events, from alumni networking to partner fairs and Talent Expos.