Session: Entrepreneurship - Advocating for Tech Funding Equity
Current technology startup capitalization policies put socioeconomically disadvantaged founders, particularly women and underrepresented people of color, at a disadvantage. The U.S. forgoes an estimated 9 million jobs and $300 billion in collective national income due to discriminatory funding practices. At the same time, regulations prevents more than 90 percent of prospective investors from qualifying as “accredited investors” and limits how much they can support these founders. It's long overdue for the Securities and Exchange Commission dismantle discriminatory investor criteria, so to facilitate equitable capital formation. Doing so will empower more founders to get the traction they need to be eligible for institutional capital. Learn more and how you can help.
Bio: Mariah Lichtenstern
At the intersection of technology, entertainment, and venture capital, Mariah Lichtenstern addresses social, economic, and environmental equity through entrepreneurship. Mariah is the Founding Partner of DiverseCity Ventures and Managing Director of the Founder Institute, Sacramento Chapter. She is a member of UCLA Ventures, and serves as an advisor for CalSEED CleanTech Fund, Berkeley SkyDeck, Village Capital Finance Forward, and the Yale School of Medicine Digital Innovation and Diversity initiative.
A multi-faceted "connector," Mariah works with amazing people she feels incredibly fortunate to know and strives to build bridges between those with privilege and those with valuable but under-utilized perspectives. She is driven to empower founders and filmmakers of all backgrounds, inclusive of those underrepresented by virtue of "otherness," including (but not limited to) gender / identity, culture, geography, and socio-economic status.