Intel has launched a US$125m investment fund earmarked for technology start-ups run by women and underrepresented minorities.
The fund will be led by Lisa M. Lambert, managing director and vice president of Intel Capital.
Speaking about the launch, Lambert said that Intel is “proud to take a leading role toward broader participation in technology entrepreneurship and employment. With this new fund, Intel Capital is committed to investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to cultivate innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public.”
The launch of the Intel Capital Diversity Fund supports Intel’s vision of improving diversity within the company and within the sector.
Earlier this year, the company pledged US$300m to diversify its workforce, and committed US$5m of that pledge to support computer science programmes at two schools in Oakland, California.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sees manifold benefits to a more diverse sector: “We believe a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results. Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology start-up workforce more reflective of society and, ultimately, to benefit Intel and the broader economy through its success.”
The first four companies to receive investments under the Intel Capital Diversity Fund were unveiled at the announcement.
The companies exhibit a diverse portfolio. Brit + Co is a media and e-commerce platform that educates, inspires and supports women and girls to learn everything from calligraphy to how to build gadgets. CareCloud provides cloud-based services to medical groups. Mark One has designed Vessyl, a smart cup that recognises what’s in it, gives you nutritional information and links that information to your smartphone. Venafi protects cryptographic keys and digital certificates so they can’t be misused.
In addition to funding, each company will gain access to Intel Capital’s business development programmes, global network, technology expertise and brand capital.
Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-20 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.
Start-up image, via Shutterstock