Who Are You? Charting the Demographics of Venture-Backed Internet Startups

Our friends at CB Insights, a New York information services firm that tracks investments in private companies, have been busy gathering new insights about the demographics of venture-backed Internet companies.

They’ve put together a report based on data about the founders of 165 early stage Internet companies that raised their first round of institutional venture capital funding (seed and Series A rounds) during the first six months of 2010. Today CB Insights is releasing Part 1, which focuses on the race, age, and experience of these startup founders, and plans to release Part 2, which focuses on the founders’ gender and education, later this week.

Much of the data the group came up with is unsurprising. The study found, for example, that an overwhelming number of Internet startup founders (87 percent) are white, which exceeds the 77 percent of the U.S. population that is white.

(The methodology here is worth a parenthetical note. In explaining how CB Insights determined the founders’ race and ethnicity, the firm says it was “driven algorithmically by data CB Insights has created on last names, which leverages U.S. Census Data in addition to several other sources. In cases where ethnicity or race was not conclusively provided by our algorithm, we employed human tagging [Human editors tagging photos for race]. In cases where we discuss ethnicity, these statistics reflect the founders’ ethnicities and not the country they were born in.”)

CB Insights says the rationale for conducting the … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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One response to “Who Are You? Charting the Demographics of Venture-Backed Internet Startups”

  1. You missed a big insight — the fact that California under-indexes versus the national average for venture-funded companies that are women-owned or led.