Funding for startups

Calling All Women Startups! Intel Wants to Give You Money

Intel is once again putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to supporting women in the tech industry -- a lot of money too. The networking giant has committed $125 million to invest in businesses led by women and underrepresented minorities.

Intel Capital , the financial division of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), announced the Intel Capital Diversity Fund Tuesday ahead of the Women in Tech breakfast at BTE, which it sponsored. (See BTE 2015: Innovation Thrives on Diversity.)

And Light Reading will partner with Intel to help identify worthy communications-focused startups, profile them and promote them along the way, Monique Hayward, Intel's director of outbound marketing for the network platforms division, revealed at the breakfast.

The startups that get chosen will span multiple industries, but have the common theme of being trailblazers with women at the helm. In addition to the cash, all of the companies will get access to Intel Capital's business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital.

Intel's inaugural fund recipients include Brit + Co, a San Francisco-based media and e-commerce startup focused on online classes for women and girls; CareCloud, a Miami-based cloud-based practice management, electronic health record (EHR) and medical billing software company; Mark One, a San Franciscan startup that uses the Intel Curie module for a connected smart cup; and Venafi, a Salt Lake City startup creating "the Immune System for the Internet."

Check out all the news and views from the 2015 Big Telecom Event at Light Reading's dedicated BTE show news channel.

The Diversity Fund builds on Intel's Diversity in Technology initiative, first announced in January that saw it commit $300 million to reach full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the US workforce by 2020.

Venture capital may seem to be pretty free-flowing in the Valley these days, but Intel cites some concerning studies that show companies with a woman CEO only receive 3% of total venture capital dollars and nearly 100% of founders are Caucasian or Asian as less than 1% of the founders of Silicon Valley companies are African American or Latino.

It's not a pretty picture, or at least it's a pretty boring, homogenous one. As has come up at all of our Women in Tech events, supporting diversity in the industry is not only the right thing to do, it is simply good business. (See Women in Tech: People Skills Trump Tech Skills and Women in Tech Coming Into Focus.)

Light Reading is thrilled to be supporting Intel in its efforts to identify worthy startups and help raise their profile in the industry. You can help too! Let us know of any innovative, female-led startups that you think are worthy of funding. We'll help make the connection. Feel free to leave a comment on the message boards or email me directly at [email protected].

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

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