Melinda Gates Says VC Firms Are ‘Leaving Money on the Table’ by Not Investing in Women-Led Businesses

Melinda Gates spoke to Fortune this week about her entrance into the world of venture capital—and why investing in women-led and minority-focused venture firms is not only the right thing to do ethically, but the smart move financially. This summary by GeekWire focuses on Gates’ dedication to investing in the future and in opportunities—for women, minorities, and investors. Click through to read the full GeekWire article, and find the Fortune interview here.

By Taylor Soper

Traditional venture capital firms are missing out on returns by overlooking women-led startups.

That’s according to Melinda Gates, who spoke to Fortune this week about why she’s investing in women and minority-led businesses.

Gates, co-chair of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Seattle-based investment firm Pivotal Ventures, is putting money behind various funds like Aspect Ventures and Female Founders Fund that index for women and minority entrepreneurs. She told Fortune that big, longstanding VC firms are “leaving money on the table.”

“If they’re not seeing the latest innovative, disruptive technology because they don’t understand it or they don’t understand some things that women are spending money on, I think they’re not making great investments,” she said. “They’ll start to wake up over time, and there are some opportunities there.”


I can’t wait to see how a more diverse group of entrepreneurs will shape tomorrow’s innovations—from the products we build to the problems we decide to tackle. Thanks to @polina_marinova and @FortuneMagazine for a great conversation.

— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) May 30, 2018

Gates, a long-time champion of creating opportunities for women and minorities in technology, vouched for more women on company boards. She also hopes  investors hold their portfolio companies accountable for prioritizing “diversity, the right values, and the right behavior.” You can read the full Fortune interview here.

Image credit: GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota

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