Manchester investment firm launches Anti-Bias Fund

Alumni Venture Group seeks to address systemic biases

Anti BiasThe Alumni Venture Group, Manchester, has launched the AVG Anti-Bias Fund, which it says will focus on deploying capital to support diverse founders, teams and business models addressing systemic biases.

Michael Collins, CEO of AVG, said the fund will compile a broad portfolio of 20 to 30 investments over the next 12 to 18 months. He added that the firm defines “diverse” as “not a white male.”

“There are numerous studies showing that companies with diverse leadership significantly outperform their all-white, all-male counterparts,” said Collins. “Yet most venture capitalists and VC-backed founders are still disproportionately white and male. The thesis for our new annual fund is primarily to back promising ventures that we think are good investments and that also fit our impact thesis. It’s a false dichotomy to say you can’t do well and do good through the same investment.”

The company said the new fund is an outgrowth of its ongoing efforts to facilitate more diverse representation in the venture capital arena.

“Venture capital is one of the most difficult industries to break into, as well as one of the least diverse,” said Luke Antal, chief marketing officer and one of the founders of AVG’s Venture Fellows Program, which provides a free, part-time educational “on-ramp” to the VC industry. “AVG has challenged this status quo since our inception — and will continue to do so. We believe that having new voices with varied perspectives among entrepreneurs and in the venture field delivers better outcomes for everyone.”

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