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Our VP of Programs, Chandell Stone, is dedicating a portion of her time this summer as a Fellow through the Kapor Fellows Venture Capital program in Oakland, CA. We had the opportunity to hear a little bit about what this fellowship is, and how Chandell plans to implement new knowledge and insights into the work of 3DS.

What is the Kapor Center? The Kapor Center is an operating foundation tackling  racial inequities in STEM education and the tech industry. Their work focuses at the intersection of racial justice and technology, and their mission is to create a more inclusive technology sector.

What is the Kapor Fellows Venture Capital program? The Kapor Fellows Venture Capital program is an initiative out of the Kapor Center to diversify the venture capital space by placing more people of color into the investment pathway. According to Forbes, 58% of the people who work in the venture capital industry are white men, [but] the more important statistic is that white men control 93% of the venture capital dollars flowing into startups.

Kapor Fellows Venture Capital program exists to diversify in the Venture Capital (VC) industry and thus, the spectrum of diversity among founders that receive funding. More diversity in founders means more diverse ideas – which impacts the products and services brought to market representing needs and desires of global majority groups. 100% of the 2022 Fellowship cohort are POC, and 90% are Black or Latinx.

What does Chandell do at the Fellowship? The Fellowship consists of a cohort of 17 young professionals from a range of sectors. They are placed across the Bay Area and New York for the summer, at the Kapor Center and other partner firms. Through this program Chandell is learning the operational aspects of running a VC firm, gaining professional development from successful founders and leaders within the industry, and evaluating incoming deals against Kapor’s rigorous gap-closing thesis. Chandell was placed with Kapor Center Investments, which is based out of the Kapor Center. Some of the other investment firms Fellows worked at included Base Ventures, First Close Partners, Plum Alley and Gutter Capital.

What will Chandell bring back to 3DS? Chandell will return to 3DS with a better understanding of how the venture capital ecosystem works for founders who are interested in venture scale. She also will know how to better support and connect underrepresented founders  in gaining access to capital by applying insider knowledge of what investors are looking for. Chandell’s experience as a Kapor Center Investments Fellow will be a significant value add to her mentorship for 3DS program participants. With her experience, Chandell will assist founders to acquire customers, build networks, and attract investors to their venture. Through the fellowship experience, she has also gained perspective on what it is like to invest at the intersection of profitability and social impact. Chandell is eager to help more founders build products in this nexus, which has enormous potential to radically transform communities of color. 

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