D. Wilson selected as HBCUvs's 31 Under 31: The Future of Venture Capital

I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to join inclusion innovators such as John Henry (Harlem Capital Partners), Sydney Thomas (Precursor Ventures), Enyi Okebugwu (Omidyar Network), Tyler Dean (Point72 Ventures) and Amiah Sheppard (Backstage Capital) on the HBCUvc’s 31 Under 31: The Future of Venture Capital list. We are each uniquely tackling issues of diversity and inclusion in business ownership and growth and I am both inspired and motivated to continue this journey in creative ways.

Original article appears on Medium.com

“At HBCUvc, we don’t put too much stock in “best of” lists or other league tables that purport to sort people by merit. Ranked lists don’t do a good job of assessing an individual’s worth or accurately measuring her contributions to an industry like venture capital where feedback cycles are long and the best contributors often work behind the scenes to help entrepreneurs succeed. On top of this, the lists tend to focus on the accomplishments of White men at the expense of other contributors. The lists’ purpose may be to spotlight the best talent in VC, but they end up exacerbating bias by failing to paint the whole picture of who makes up the industry.

Nevertheless, lists do have an impact. If an investor’s name is on a list, she is more visible amid the myriad entrepreneurs, co-investors, media, conference organizers and others who can open doors to new opportunities and career-defining moments. Despite the inherent flaws of lists and leaderboards, we all have an interest in making sure that depictions of achievement and promise in the venture capital industry include those people who are ordinarily overlooked and underestimated.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the inaugural class of the HBCUvc 31 Under 31 List. We paint a fuller picture of who is coming up the ranks in VC today, and we show just how diverse the class is in terms of race, ethnicity, geography, and role. You’ll find Black and Latinx members of the VC community who are doing incredible work with companies operating across sectors and stages. In order to identify people who’ve enjoyed success but who also have the potential to go even further in their venture capital careers, we solicited nominations via social media, an email campaign, word-of-mouth, and our extensive network of entrepreneurs, GPs, LPs, and executives working on the front lines.

In our selection process, we widened the filter and welcomed nominations of principal investors and also community managers, accelerator managers, service providers, and others who invest in innovation. We salute those who made the final list — a group of people who reflect the very best emerging talents working in venture capital today.”

Bio Statement as it appears in text:

Deloris (D) Wilson is a social entrepreneur, ecosystem builder, and advocate for women’s rights. In her dual role as an Inclusive Innovation Fellow at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Technology Law and Policy + Head of Strategy and Operations for BEACON: The D.C. Women Founders Initiative, she advises an innovative public-private partnership supporting over 4,500 women entrepreneurs through an integrative directory, ecosystem grants program, and direct services. She also spearheads numerous investment partnerships in generating on-ramps for resources and support, informed through her 2018 publication, “Building Inclusive Ecosystems with Intentionality: A Strategy to Enhance Support for D.C.’s Women Founders.”

In 2016, she founded AXL (aksel), a social impact advisory agency using data and design to improve diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. As a graduate of Spelman College, Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Georgetown Law, she is an avid traveler, mixed-media artist and strategist committed to promoting equity and inclusion worldwide.

D WilsonComment