Stephen Hays


Update: Tracking Diversity in Our Portfolio at Deep Space Ventures

In December, 2017 I wrote a post about VCs and diversity among their portfolio founders. I called on VCs to start reporting their diversity stats. Since then I’ve posted these stats on the Deep Space Ventures website here.

Below is an update on where we are as far as diversity among our founder base in the portfolio. As of today, 52% of our portfolio companies have at least one founder from an underrepresented group.

52% of our companies have at least one founder from an underrepresented group

Why am I so focused on diversity and tracking diversity in our portfolio?

  1. Diversity of thought is more powerful than homogeneous thinking, clearly. The best way to increase the number of backgrounds and life experiences in the portfolio, is to have a diverse set of founders. The portfolio founders are resources for each other across the Deep Space platform, and diversity of experience and thought is a must in that respect.
  2. Our best companies are led by diverse founders. At the end of 2017 we did an objective portfolio review (ranked our companies by stats that are important to us when determining performance). 7 of our top 10 companies, were led by a founder from an underrepresented group. I know it’s a small sample size, but that powerful of a number can’t be ignored.

What Next?

I’m not sure why other VCs will not post their stats on their websites. But hopefully over time that can change. All I can control is what I’m doing. In addition to posting the stats about the portfolio, in 2018 I’m tracking stats about our pitch count. Of the meetings we take, I’m going to report statistics on how many companies had a founder from an underrepresented group at the end of the year. If there is bias or some sort of short coming in my sourcing methodology, then I’ll find it and fix it. The only way to do that, is with data and transparency.

Stephen Hays is Managing Partner at Deep Space Ventures, VC firm based in Dallas, TX that invests in esports and B2B startups.

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