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Group Plans Increased VC Funds for Women, Diverse Start-Ups

Loose bills of multiple denominations (borman818)A new program aims to increase venture capital funding for new start-up companies owned by women and diverse minority entrepreneurs. The Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP) is a partnership of the National Association of Investment Companies, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, and the Marathon Foundation. Applications close on Friday 18 May.

VCAP, say its organizers, will connect venture capital (VC) and angel investor networks with women and diverse entrepreneurs nationwide, many of whom have not traditionally had access to these sources of capital. The investors for this program will be those in the Harvard Business School alumni network in New York.

Applications for the fund are being accepted on the Marathon Foundation Web site. Marathon Foundation is a network of business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate and investment executives, and industry advocates that aims to increase access to capital for minority and women entrepreneurs and businesses. A $500.00 application fee is charged, which is waived for Marathon Foundation members. The deadline for applications is Friday 18 May 2012.

After initial screening of business plans and financial data, four to eight finalists will be announced on 18 June, and invited to pitch their companies before 40 to 50 Harvard Business School alumni VCs, angels, and other institutional investors. VCAP finalists will also be invited to present their plans at a Marathon Foundation conference in Chicago in July.

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Photo: borman818/Flickr

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