Better Venture: Improving Diversity, Innovation, and Profitability in Venture Capital and Startups (Paperback)

Better Venture: Improving Diversity, Innovation, and Profitability in Venture Capital and Startups By Erika Brodnock, Johannes Lenhard Cover Image
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Better Venture is a first-of-its-kind guide to diversity and inclusion in startups and venture capital-who funds, who gets funded, and how the industry can change.

The industry's lack of diversity and inclusion not only compromises moral standing-it means overlooking profitable businesses and talented founders. That costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and neglects ideas that could serve the needs of many more people.

In this collection of interviews, stories, and research, we use the momentum that has been building in recent years to expand the conversation about DEI, venture capital, and the startup ecosystem, and to inspire more concrete action.


  • 43 in-depth conversations with leading investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers, making it one of the most comprehensive and diverse sets of perspectives on the startup ecosystem ever assembled in one place.
  • An economic history of venture capital through a diversity lens.
  • On-the-ground stories from founders and VCs that explore ways to create a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, and profitable venture ecosystem.

No blog post can give the deep understanding and vision needed to address the complexity of the topic.

That's why we came together to write this book and are bringing in so many voices to clarify the picture of what is and what could be.

Over the course of two years of research and discussion with almost 100 experts, we set out to answer four questions:

  1. Why has the industry been so slow to change? We map the economic origins and history of venture capital to understand how the economics of VC has contributed to the glacial pace of diversifying the industry.
  2. What barriers are founders and investors facing now? We draw on contributions from investors, operators, founders, and journalists to help catalog the barriers for founders seeking funding, and for investors seeking entry and influence in the industry.
  3. Can diversity really lead to higher returns? We bring in new research and data to help us understand how betting on underrepresented founders and investors is really the better venture. Why does diversifying the industry matter, and to whom? How is it linked to financial performance and better decision making? How will it improve innovation across industries?
  4. What can be done for positive change? We discuss cost effective and evidence-based interventions, tools, and solutions that can help to make the VC and startup worlds more diverse and inclusive-and result in higher returns.

We hope this book and the conversations it contains help fulfill the vision of a more diverse, inclusive, and profitable ecosystem.

It's time venture got better.

"Better Venture is a fantastically comprehensive guide to the critical subject of inclusion in venture capital, packed full of practical advice from leaders in the field."

- Check Warner (Ada Ventures)

"Change-when it comes to diversity and inclusion in VC and startups-hasn't come quickly enough. This comprehensive guide has great concrete examples and best practices that are illuminating and can hopefully affect change."

- Elizabeth Yin (Hustle Fund)

"Better Venture is the definitive guide on DEI in VC-a must read with practical tips for making changes in the industry."

- Maren Bannon (January Ventures)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781952120343
ISBN-10: 1952120349
Publisher: Holloway, Inc.
Publication Date: November 1st, 2020
Pages: 450
Language: English