WOCstar Fund, a Black female-led venture fund, announces its inaugural venture scouts to increase a new generation of leaders focused on investing in women of color tech startups
WOCstar Fund is a New York-based early-stage venture fund that is changing the trajectory for investors and entrepreneurs. Today, WOCstar Fund announced its WOCstar Venture Scout program and its inaugural venture scouts. The global group of active investors, entrepreneurs, and business professionals represent the new generation of leaders that will advance the WOCstar Fund’s commitment to invest meaningful capital in women of color (“WOC”) and diverse tech entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2018, WOCstar Fund is an early-stage investment fund focused on women of color tech startups. The Fund offers smart, inclusive investors the opportunity to share in the success of one of the more profitable segments of the financial market — Women of color and global, inclusive tech teams. The team is actively investing in companies that are reimagining the future of media, consumer, fintech, EdTech, and AgTech sectors.
“In order to manifest racial and economic equality, we need to increase the diversity of the investing talent equipped to invest in women entrepreneurs and business owners,” said Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne, co-founder of the WOCstar Fund and host of VCs off the Record podcast. “Individually the VC Scouts are impressive but together, we truly are a global group of rockstars ready to invest in North America, India, Africa, Latin America, and beyond.”
Meet a few of the WOCstar VC Scouts:
Sherrell Dorsey is the founder and CEO of The Plug—a digital news and insights platform covering the Black innovation economy. Her work has been featured in VICE, The Washington Post, Seattle Times, The Information, and more. In 2018, she was named an inspiring woman in tech by CNet. Prior to launching The Plug, Dorsey served as a marketing manager for companies like Uber and Google Fiber.
Pratik Gauri is a serial Indian social entrepreneur and active investor. He serves as the India President of 5th Element Group, Chairman of India Needs You, and sits on the board of six startups. He previously served in various executive positions with the TATA group. Pratik was named Creative Entrepreneur of the year 2020 by Entrepreneur India magazine for creating the 5th Industrial Revolution. He is a Greenbiz Global 30 Under 30, British Petroleum Scholar, WEF Global Shaper, Ambassador at One Young World, Al Gore’s Climate Leader, Fellow at Startup Leadership Program, and Changemaker at Global Action on Poverty.
Joshua Stephens brings with him a vast knowledge of the healthcare technology space as well as experience launching innovative initiatives within the largest city government in the US. Joshua leads strategic initiatives for Ready, an early-stage on-demand healthcare startup. Prior to this, Joshua focused on building a healthcare and life sciences ecosystems at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He also expanded the broader innovation economy in New York City through entrepreneurial programs as well as building debt and equity funds to support startups.