How to thrive in the diverse, inclusive and equitable future that is not just coming . . . It’s here now

The confluence of social, health, financial, environmental and business cycles is pulling the future forward at a rate few of us have seen in our lifetimes. The company you’re building today has the potential to change the fabric of society. If you need proof, just think of the companies leading the markets and economy right now: Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft.

All venture funded. All built with a purpose in mind.

Diversity, inclusion, equity, environmental stewardship . . . now the mainstream

What’s different today? 50% of US workers are millennials. GenZ is the most diverse generation of Americans; nearly one-half are people of color. They’re not looking for how to sprinkle these ideas into your business. Despite forces trying to turn back time, these are the pillars of how companies will operate and how people work in the near future.

The difference between saying words like these and making diversity, equity, and inclusion operating pillars of venture funded companies is the difference between organizations that shape the future versus simply participate in it.

The work is hard. We’re all in it together. We need to start now.

Entrepreneurs are wired and motivated to embrace change, to do the hard work of pulling the future forward, to disrupt entrenched ways of doing things.

That entrepreneurial spirit will be applied to building and participating in ecosystems of richly diverse teams, supply chains (including capital providers), partnerships, and networks. This is the new competitive landscape.

You can build that kind of purpose-driven organization. You can build and be part of such networks. You can build sustainable, regenerative companies that change who has a seat at the table, shares the wealth, and leads.

That’s true impact. We can do it together. And Ulu wants to help.

The Impact Experience changes . . . everything

In 2020, Ulu Ventures, in collaboration with Illumen Capital and Impact Experience, sponsored invitation-only two-day workshops for Ulupreneurs, Limited Partners and Friends of Ulu called the Ulu Ventures Impact Experience Workshop on Race.

The goals of these workshops were as simple as they are important.

  1. To help you clarify how you can embed these principles in your business purpose and design, action plans, develop skills of inclusion, and build a community of practice and support that empowers you.
  2. To create social and business connections to support you and your team.
  3. To identify initiatives you can immediately undertake to use diversity, equity and inclusion as a mental model for tackling your toughest business challenges.

We’re all busy. The future is calling. The time to start is now.

There are few people busier than company founders. The competition for your time and attention is fierce.
And yet, the opportunity to align your company with the call of increasing diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability is compelling, powerful, and ultimately irresistible.

Over the past 5 years, more than 950 people have attended Impact Experience workshops, including institutional investors, founders, team members, academics, engaged investors and community members.

While difficult in so many ways, these challenging times also offer an unprecedented opportunity for action, learning, and growth. We offer this life changing gathering of founders, funders, and influencers on three different sets of dates.

Diversity is an essential part of Ulu’s investment thesis. This is both a socially beneficial conviction and smart business. This guiding principle has consistently provided Ulu Ventures a meaningful advantage in sourcing and ultimately funding high-performing founders and firms that other venture firms systematically overlook . . . [more]

From Clint and Miriam . . .

The foundation for the Ulu Impact Experience is grounded in Montgomery, Alabama, a city that not only has deep historical roots in the trans-Atlantic and domestic slave trade and mass incarceration, but also served as one of the birthplaces of the Civil Rights movement.

Clint and I had the privilege of attending an Impact Experience workshop in person in Montgomery in February, before the pandemic made such gatherings impossible. We were deeply affected and want to recreate it as much as possible for you, despite the limitations of COVID-19. We can’t travel to Montgomery in body. But we can allow its lessons, both of despair and hope, to inspire the work we will do together.