Closing the Equity Gap: Creating Wealth and Fostering Justice in Startup Investing
March 20, 2023
An entrepreneur and a social activist remake the future of investing and business, offering a groundbreaking “win-win” roadmap for creating wealth and addressing inequalities by investing in groundbreaking tech companies that defy assumptions from Silicon Valley to Wall Street.
Companies backed by venture capital drive the U.S. economy, accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars in sales and profits. The problem is that most of the wealth created winds up enriching elites while the businesses funded by venture capitalists widen economic inequality. Committed to doing things differently, tech venture capitalists Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor launched Kapor Capital to prove that investing in gap-closing startups—companies whose services or products close opportunity gaps for both communities of color and low-income communities—is good business. Over the past decade, they’ve broadened the definition of success to include profits and accountability for the impacts a business has on employees, communities, and the planet, helping to launch close to 200 companies engaged in achieving social and economic justice while showing remarkable growth, with many valued in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
Like every VC firm, they have experienced high-profile blowups and total losses. But Kapor Capital’s investing principles have created a stunning new ecosystem of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors, all devising innovative, effective solutions to address the most pernicious problems afflicting many of America’s poorest communities. In The Equity Gap, Freada and Mitch share their core beliefs that all companies must make a positive impact, and that the obstacles entrepreneurs overcome in life are a far better predictor of long-term success than the schools they attend or investment dollars raised from friends and family.
Using stories behind some of the most remarkable companies ever launched, they show that the standard investment model doesn’t work, how it can be fixed, and what the future could look like if more investors joined them.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor are founding partners at Kapor Capital and Co-Chairs of the nonprofit Kapor Center in Oakland, California.
Mitch Kapor is a pioneer in the personal computing industry, and an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate for social change. He founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and is the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation, creator of the Firefox web browser. He also serves on the board of SMASH, the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy, a three-year STEM-intensive residential college prep program that empowers students to deepen their talents and pursue STEM careers.
Freada Kapor Klein is an entrepreneur, activist, and pioneer in the field of organizational culture and diversity. She is the founder of SMASH and co-founded the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, the first organization in the U.S. to address sexual harassment. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy and Research from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and is a member of the Obama Foundation Tech Policy Council, the U.C. Berkeley Board of Visitors, and a board observer of the air quality monitoring company Aclima.io.
The books for this giveaway are being provided by Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The giveaway will close on Monday, April 3rd. We have 20 copies available.