Sycamore started like most things do in Silicon Valley: with a sarcastic Facebook comment.
Beneath the comment was the underlying frustration with the fact that women, people of color, LGBTQIA folks, and others are de facto locked out of the formal funding mechanisms in Silicon Valley. (This is even more true for people who have two or more of these identities.)
Existing investors have shown that they are largely uninterested in adjusting their practices. Plus, they often lack the lived experience necessary to understand the value propositions of these founders whose demographics or target markets are unfamiliar to them. Finally, much of the ‘how to’ of venture capital is passed down through direct relationships and tribal knowledge.
To use the requisite Silicon Valley parlance: the system is fundamentally broken. It’s broken morally, economically, and technologically, and it’s holding everyone back from deeply needed innovation.
We need more early-stage investors who either understand or are at least willing to consider the real value being left on the table. We need more investors who are willing and eager to forge new connections. And we need a way for underrepresented founders to have access to these investors.
Our goal is simple: bypass the existing, broken systems that aren’t serving the market as they should, and help the people who are interested in closing the opportunity gap make money in the process.
Sycamore is a newsletter for new angel investors who want to tackle this problem, and the underrepresented founders who want to meet them. We’ll cover highlights in the tech and venture capital worlds to keep you up-to-date on news that matters to underrepresented cohorts. We’ll offer a variety of tech and VC topics in a simple, “101” style to give you introductory awareness to key skills and subjects. And we’ll feature upcoming deals with founders who have at least one marginalized identity.
We won’t be vetting deals, or making recommendations about specific investment decisions (that’s on you, and it would be a liability nightmare for us). But we will do our best to provide accurate and honest information. If we drop the ball, please let us know.
We’re going to be learning right alongside our readers, so we absolutely encourage you to throw us tips about deals, submit ideas for topics we should cover, and send us feedback on how we can be more useful.
How high can the sycamore grow?
We’re going to find out.