Renaissance Venture Capital to showcase diverse startup founders with new event

ANN ARBOR—Renaissance Venture Capital, a “fund of funds”—a venture fund that invests in other venture funds—will hold its next UnDemo Day for startup founders on Wednesday, April 27.

This version of UnDemo Day will showcase companies from the Midwest states led by women, people of color, and other diverse communities.

UnDemo Day has received national acclaim for its attraction of venture capital to Michigan companies, and Renaissance founder and CEO Chris Rizik said this year’s event will continue that tradition.

““Our history at Renaissance has been one of successfully attracting the best venture capital funds from around the country to invest in regional startups,” Rizik said. “And our goal for April 27 is to bring in that powerful investor network to focus on approximately 50 of the most promising companies in the region led by diverse founders. These are largely meetings that these founders would otherwise have trouble getting, and likewise, these are startup companies that the VCs might not otherwise find.”

Studies show that startups led by women, Black and Latino founders collectively receive less than 10% of all venture capital investments, and trends have not dramatically changed over the past decade, even though research shows that these companies have historically provided strong overall financial returns to investors. In many cases it is access to investors that is the limiting factor, and UnDemo Day provides startups access to hundreds of potential investors from around the United States.

In a format similar to prior UnDemo Days, the event will include larger group “pitch rooms” as well as hundreds of curated one-on-one meetings between start-ups and VCs. Last year alone, 15 Michigan startups received venture funding as a result of UnDemo Day introductions.

Renaissance and its partner Invest Detroit Ventures will conduct coaching sessions prior to the event to help the participating startups prepare their pitches, and the startups will also have access to UnDemo Day consultation on accounting, legal and human resources planning for their businesses from event partners Ernst & Young, Foley & Lardner, and Amy Cell Talent.

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