Intel Is Betting Big On Women-Led Start-Ups

Photographed by Raven Ishak.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is making good on his pledge to invest $300 million to diversify talent in the tech industry. The company's investment arm, Intel Capital, started a $125 million initiative to fund women- and minority-led technology start-ups over the next five years.

"We want to be a catalyst. We believe it’s good business," Intel Capital head Lisa Lambert told VentureBeat in an interview. "Half the population is women. Women are leading in every other industry.”

To start with, Intel invested $16.7 million in four start-ups: how-to hub Brit + Co, healthcare-focused CareCloud, smart-cup-maker Mark One, and cybersecurity firm Venafi. It's identified 100 other start-ups that also qualify for funding (that means the CEO or founder, or at least three executives, are Black, Latino, Native American, and/or female).

The majority of the tech industry is woefully white and male, as diversity reports released in late 2014 revealed. Subsequent polls show that the industry is now up to 92% male.

With such damning stats, other major tech companies are pushing to get women more involved and more visible in the space. Apple made a $10 million commitment to get more women in technology, part of which went to Latinas in Tech efforts from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). It also put women onstage at its developer conference keynote for the first time in five years. And Google recently pledged to invest $150 million in diversity initiatives this year.

If these trends continue, the face of the tech industry could look a lot different a decade from now.


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