Rev1 Ventures Commits Nearly $3MM to Expand Diversity in Entrepreneurship

Leading Startup Studio Supports More Women and Persons of Color with Investment and Grant from U.S. Department of Commerce.

Today, Rev1 Ventures, the startup studio that combines capital and strategic services to help startups scale and corporates innovate, is announcing its expansion of support for women and persons of color who are seeking to commercialize technologies and launch new scalable businesses in the Columbus Region. The funding totals nearly $3MM in new programs, including a $1.4MM grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) “Build to Scale” program, which aims to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to business support and startup capital. The grant will be paired with another $1.4MM Rev1 will provide as the local match – funding secured through returns from Rev1 investments. Rev1 is among 50 entrepreneurship-focused organizations that received the EDA grant – the money will go toward the expansion of mentoring and support resources; the development of diverse intern and fellowship programs, as well as the addition of Rev1 Fellows.

Studies show that businesses with diverse workforces and management outperform their peers in almost every business metric. In fact, a report from McKinsey & Company shows that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability while top-quartile companies outperformed those in the fourth by 36 percent. The Rev1 initiatives will serve those with immediate needs, while building a pipeline of diverse entrepreneurial talent in the region.

“This is a pivotal time for diversity and inclusion – and Rev1 is committed to expanding our network of support and services to help more diverse entrepreneurs build great companies,” said Kristy Campbell, COO of Rev1 Ventures. “Beyond expanding our network and programs, we are also creating a new Inclusiveness Council that will help us diversify the startup ecosystem and provide the long-term support that is needed to ensure this remains a priority for years to come.”

With this grant, Rev1 will tap into its proven startup services and inclusive entrepreneurship approach to address the challenges identified by women and entrepreneurs of color. The funding will support expanded mentor diversity and availability of one-to-one assistance, along with enhanced access to peer groups and resource networks through targeted activities for women and entrepreneurs of color. Rev1 is also working with colleges and universities, especially those traditionally serving minority populations, to establish internships for students to work in startup environments, while placing fellows/post-doctoral graduates in companies to help commercialize highly-scalable technologies.

“We recognize the importance of this initiative and are committed to evolving the ecosystem in our community to help diverse entrepreneurs thrive,” added Tom Walker, CEO of Rev1 Ventures. “In addition to our support for individuals building high-growth startups, we know progress also means diversifying within our own walls and as such, we are focused on improving the diversity of our team to ensure our investment focus is reflected among our leaders and investors.”

About Rev1 Ventures

Rev1 Ventures is the startup studio that combines capital and strategic services to help startups scale and corporates innovate. Based in the Midwest, Rev1 connects entrepreneurs to talent, customers, space and funding, to help entrepreneurs build great companies. With a proven track record of success, Rev1 is the most active seed investor in Ohio for the past seven years. For more information, visit www.rev1ventures.com.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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