Funds will directly support underrepresented founders at the earliest stages
and provide access to an inclusive startup ecosystem.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 20, 2022 – Comcast Corporation today announced a $1 million investment in Backstage Capital to support underrepresented founders at the earliest stages. Driven by Comcast NBCUniversal’s Startup Engagement team, this financial commitment will go toward Backstage Capital’s Opportunity Fund, which exclusively funds and champions early stage startups led by women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ founders. This commitment makes Comcast one of the largest investors in the fund to date.
“We’re proud to be an investor in Backstage Capital’s Opportunity Fund, which will provide increased funding to help advance emerging founders who identify as women, people of color, and LGBTQ+,” said Danielle Cohn, Vice President, Startup Engagement and head of LIFT Labs, Comcast NBCUniversal. “With more than 60% of the entrepreneurs across our accelerators coming from underrepresented backgrounds, this partnership with Backstage Capital will both help fuel strategic investments among a diverse startup ecosystem and our future innovation pipeline.”
Backstage Capital has one of the largest venture portfolios of women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders, with investments in nearly 200 companies. The Opportunity Fund was built to help address inequities in venture capital pipelines by directly funding high-potential, underrepresented innovators at the beginning stages. In addition to capital, the fund will provide support through mentorship, amplification, fundraising, access to Backstage Capital’s community and investors, and more.
“We are excited to partner with Comcast as an investor in our newest fund,” said Brittany Davis, general partner at Backstage Capital. “We hope their investment causes other organizations to take note and take their lead. Comcast’s capital will have a huge and direct impact on the founders we support and ultimately goes toward increasing equity within the innovation ecosystem.”
Comcast NBCUniversal’s Startup Engagement team offers programs and resources for startups in connectivity, media, entertainment, sports, and tech that can enhance the products and services Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky provide. It builds on the company’s efforts to advance economic mobility and access to capital for all entrepreneurs, including those at the earliest stages who may not yet be ready for a more traditional accelerator program or commercial deal. Antonia Dean, Director, Startup Pipeline Diversity at Comcast NBCUniversal, will partner with Backstage Capital on this investment to open doors for founders across their global network.
“It is important now more than ever to continue to help provide more equitable opportunities and access to funding for entrepreneurs, at every stage,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation. “This investment in Backstage Capital will directly support women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders at a critical moment in their journey to building successful companies, and reflects our commitment to advancing inclusive programs for the startup community.”
This initiative with Backstage Capital is part of Comcast’s ongoing efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Funding for the investment was made possible through Comcast NBCUniversal’s $100 million commitment to help address systemic racism and inequality.