Here’s a startling statistic: Out of the $48 billion in venture capital that exchanged hands in 2014, only .0001 percent went to startups led by black women. A similarly disproportionate stat: While the average successful startup raises $41 million in its funding stages, the average startup led by a woman of color raises $36,000. And it’s not for lack of trying, researchers say. While it’s not news to anyone that STEM fields have a diversity issue to solve, an organization called Project Diane is doing something concrete to address it.
It sometimes seems that the average tech entrepreneur is a fresh-faced recent college graduate with an outsized ratio of ideas vs. life experience. But for one particular incubator, it’s life experience in and of itself – particularly the kind gained under extreme circumstances – that makes an entrepreneur attractive to work with. The philosophy that leadership and critical problem-solving experience are good things to have when building a company from scratch is the basis of The Bunker, a tech incubator formed specifically to develop military veterans’ business ideas into flourishing enterprises.