Bram de Zwart
CEO and Cofounder, 3D Hubs
ImpactX Capital Partners
The investing world suffers from a lack of representation. Paula Groves is working to solve that.
“We are missing out on substantial opportunities to take all of our lives to a better place,” she says. “I shudder to think about all the opportunities that have already been missed due to the lack of diversity in investing.”
Groves cofounded Axxon Capital in the late 1990s and raised over $50 million to invest in Black and female founders. She went on to cofound ImpactX Capital Partners in 2018, where she works to address the lack of funding for Black, women, and other minority founders. Less than 4% of global venture capital goes to women, and less than 1% goes to people of color.
At ImpactX, Groves helps to identify and invest in European startups that are not only run by underrepresented groups but promise to generate an attractive return on investment. She and her colleagues provide mentoring, guidance, and other forms of support to minority founders. Groves often provides help with budgeting and cash-flow planning, as she’s found that many underrepresented entrepreneurs have never had access to the knowledge needed to prepare a thorough financial analysis.
Groves and her team are working with Extend Ventures to identify minority individuals who have worked at successful venture-backed companies. She hopes to uncover a larger pool of minorities with track records of success, which will make it easier for them to attract funding.
Investing's lack of representation is a crucial problem to solve to level the playing field for all founders. Groves is actively working to close it, setting an example for other investors to follow.