The McWhorter Foundation To Call On Sequoia Capital and Industry Leaders Alongside C.K. McWhorter For Support In Further Diversifying Tech Entrepreneurship

SILICON VALLEY, Calif., April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The McWhorter Foundation announces it will call on Sequoia Capital in support of further diversifying tech entrepreneurship. Recent analyses highlight a significant downturn in venture funding, with an 86% decrease from $4.9 billion in 2021, marking a considerable setback for startups founded by historically underrepresented groups, including Black entrepreneurs and women. This decline across all funding stages—angel, seed, early-stage, and late-stage—signals systemic barriers within the venture capital landscape, notably impacting startups led by Black entrepreneurs and women.

Research underscores that startups led by Black entrepreneurs face more significant challenges, including securing external capital, particularly external debt. This is often due to anticipated loan denials based on racial disparities in treatment by banks, resulting in a lower rate of loan applications. Similarly, women in tech, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, encounter severe limitations in securing venture capital, crucial for rapid business growth despite representing a significant portion of U.S.-owned businesses.

Historically, Black inventors and women have made considerable contributions to technology and innovation. Lewis Latimer, the son of escaped slaves, significantly advanced the development of the electric light bulb and the telephone with his invention of a longer-lasting filament. Garrett Morgan invented the three-position traffic signal, improving road safety. Mark Dean holds three of IBM’s original nine PC patents, significantly impacting the computing industry.

Women’s contributions are equally groundbreaking. Hedy Lamarr’s work on frequency hopping laid the groundwork for modern Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson’s theoretical physics work enabled the inventions of the portable fax, touch-tone telephone, solar cells, and fiber optic cables. Radia Perlman invented the spanning-tree protocol (STP), essential for network operation and often referred to as the “mother of the internet.”

The McWhorter Foundation recognizes these disparities and the urgent need for a more inclusive and equitable innovation ecosystem. By calling on leading venture firms like Sequoia Capital and supporting initiatives highlighting the disparities dismantling systemic barriers. This initiative is dedicated to celebrating diversity and fostering support for tech innovations led by historically underrepresented entrepreneurs.

To address these challenges and honor the legacy of past innovators, a multifaceted approach is necessary. This includes promoting financial inclusivity, providing equitable support and resources, and fostering an environment where diverse voices are heard and supported. By doing so, the foundation aims to pave the way for future generations of innovators, ensuring that the venture capital investment landscape is as diverse as the society it serves.

Disclaimer, Disclosure & Legal Notice:
This press release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial, or investment advice. It is not intended to provide specific recommendations, endorsements, or investment strategies. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Regulatory Considerations:
This press release is not intended to constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities. Any offers, sales, or purchases will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws and regulations. McWhorter Foundation has not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and may operate under exemptions. Any investment decisions should be made in consultation with appropriate legal and financial advisors, considering the individual circumstances and objectives of potential investors.

Forward-Looking Statements:
Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and we caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those indicated or suggested by any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to, regulatory and legal developments, market conditions, and the outcome of negotiations. We disclaim any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: 
https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/87b02a2e-0df5-4349-a0ca-bb8c226097af


For media inquiries and further information, please contact:
Tyler Wells
VP Public Relations
tylerwells@mcwhorter.foundation

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