Technology retailer Best Buy announced today an investment of up to $10 million with BIPOC-focused venture capital firm Brown Venture Group (BVG), aimed at making the technology startup landscape more inclusive and creating a stronger community of diverse suppliers.
Best Buy and BVG also announced the launch of an entrepreneurial partnership program at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers, supporting youth in the community and develop young entrepreneurs by providing education, mentorship, networking and funding access.
Founded in 2018, BVG focuses exclusively on Black, Latino and Indigenous technology startups. The commitment from Best Buy will move the firm significantly closer to its goal to raise $50 million for its inaugural fund, which aims to close the wealth and opportunity gap through inclusive BIPOC investments. The firm expects the fund to begin making investments this fall.
Brown Venture Group Co-Founder and Managing Partner Dr. Paul Campbell said:
“The partnership with Best Buy, represents an important shift in our business community from doing things for communities of color to investing and executing with communities of color in longer-term collaborative business relationships. This hometown partnership is especially meaningful and Best Buy is to be commended for its commitment to co-creating solutions that will lead to greater economic flourishing for contributors of color.”
Today’s announcement follows the pledge made in June last year by Best Buy CEO Corie Barry to “do better” to address racial inequities and social injustices, and programs announced late last year to increase diversity within the company, support disinvested communities, and provide funding for BIPOC students. Earlier this year, Best Buy launched new initiatives supporting minority-owned businesses and communities and increasing diverse representation throughout the tech industry, including a commitment to spend at least $1.2 billion with BIPOC and diverse businesses by 2025.
“We’re committed to taking meaningful action to address the challenges faced by BIPOC entrepreneurs. Through partnerships like this, we believe we can begin to do this by helping to build a stronger, more vibrant community of diverse innovators in the tech industry, some of whom we hope will become partners of Best Buy in the future.”