Unconventional Ventures, an impact venture capital firm, is pioneering a unique path in the world of investment. Focused exclusively on diverse founders and founding teams, this firm is making waves with its unconventional approach to tech investment. General Partner Nora Bavey shares her inspiring journey, from a challenging childhood in Iran to her accidental entry into the tech world, leading to a mission of fostering diversity and innovation.
Nora Bavey's journey began in war-torn Iran, where she and her family sought refuge in Sweden. A twist of fate led her to a startup affiliated with the Stockholm School of Business, introducing her to the tech realm. As the digital marketing landscape evolved with the advent of the iPhone, Bavey found herself in a world where innovation lacked diversity, particularly in addressing women's needs, like period tracking.
Despite its progressive reputation, the Nordic region faced diversity issues. Bavey recognized the need for greater diversity and inclusivity in tech and entrepreneurship. She envisioned angel investing as her destination, and her meeting with partner Thea Messel led to the birth of Unconventional Ventures, an impact fund focused on diverse founders.
Unconventional Ventures remains a unique European fund with diversity at its core. Bavey emphasizes the urgency of transitioning from conversation to action in addressing the lack of investment in diverse founders. The European statistics for female and ethnically diverse founders are starkly low, highlighting the need for transformative change.
Bavey asserts that diversity isn't just about equity; it's about unleashing innovation potential. Solving pressing global challenges requires diverse perspectives. Data shows that companies with diversity at their core outperform in innovation and revenue. Bavey advocates for meaningful inclusion, ensuring that the tech industry's decisions reflect and benefit all communities, especially marginalized ones.
Unconventional Ventures' portfolio predominantly comprises female founders and founders from diverse backgrounds. Their investment criteria prioritize startups with a positive impact that are at least 50% diverse. They continue seeking diverse teams while calling for more limited partners to join their mission.