Groce moved a lot growing up, living mostly in motels. A past felony conviction limited job opportunities for his father; his mother, originally from Belgium, worked as a housekeeper. Now, fostering opportunity is deeply personal. “Tech is where new wealth is being created,” he says. “And if we’re the gatekeepers, we should be trying to make it more inclusive.” In addition to serving as a principal at $1 billion-in-assets Storm Ventures, Groce and Sydney Sykes three years ago cofounded BLCK VC, a San Francisco–based nonprofit with a mission to double the number of Black investors employed by VC firms to 4% by 2024. In October, the organization announced that partner firms like Salesforce Ventures pledged to graduate 300 VC- trained fellows in three years. “You can get Black founders support, mentors, everything else. But if you can’t fund them, it doesn’t matter,” Groce says. “We have a responsibility in the venture ecosystem to do this work.”
As North America settles in for a long pandemic winter, there are bright spots on the horizon. Hundreds of them. The 600 young entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and entertainers featured in our 10th Annual Forbes 30 Under 30 give everyone reason to hope. Some are defying the odds and building businesses despite Covid-19; others are helping to fight the illness, serving on hospital front- lines or working with A.I. to discover new drugs. This year they were photographed by one of their own: Mamadi Doumbouya, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea who appears in this year’s Art & Style group. Collectively, our Under 30 trailblazers have raised over $1 billion in venture funding and are proof positive that ambition and innovation can’t be quarantined.
Read the full list on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/30-under-30/2021/
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