(Miami Beach, FL) February 7, 2022 - Debut Capital, a venture capital firm investing in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous (BLI) Founders, has launched its first-ever Investor-in-Residence Program for BLI women to inspire those from non-traditional investing backgrounds into having the confidence to become excellent investors. The inaugural class consists of professional athletes, including Four-Time Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, Three-Time Track & Field Olympian Medalist Lauryn Williams, Olympic Gold Medalist, Four-Time All-Star, and WNBA Champion Chelsea Gray, and 2021 WNBA Champion Lexie Brown.
The participants in this initial class will embark on an intensive 6-week program, learning from VC experts on topics ranging from generating deal flow and portfolio construction to post-investment support. Participants will take their investment thesis from ideology to fruition, and have access to invest a total of $100,000 into multiple startups. This first cohort focused on female professional athletes is a way to begin closing the gap between them and their male athlete counterparts.
“The gender pay gap between female professional athletes and their male counterparts continues to grow,” says Pilar Johnson, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Debut Capital. “The Debut Investor-In Residence Program hopes to reduce the gap by providing these female athletes a collaborative space to gain new learnings that can build generational wealth and inspire others.”
These celebrated athletes will not only bring their unique perspectives and passion to push for progress in changing the makeup of founders in the VC world but will also be founding members of the program who will help design the program for future cohorts.
"I am pumped to be the recipient of the resources that can be a true catalyst for change," said Lauryn Williams, Four-Time Olympian. "Money is not something talked about positively in my community. To be discussing next-level financial topics such as angel investing will give me the tools to have more productive conversations with people I encounter.”
Debut Capital is here to disrupt the VC world by providing capital and strategic guidance to BLI founders and ultimately building a more diverse VC ecosystem. Debut’s current portfolio includes Breakr, Loop, Squire, Somewhere Good, and more. To learn more about Debut Capital, please visit www.debutcapital.com or follow them on Twitter and Instagram @debutcapital. To learn more about the DiR program please visit www.debutcapital.com/dir.
Lexie Brown is a professional basketball player that is a member of the 2021 WNBA Champions Chicago Sky. She graduated from Duke University in 2018, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a graduate degree from the MMS program at Fuqua School of Business. She is also a world traveler, playing on basketball teams in Hungary, Israel, and France. While her basketball career is still in its early stages, Lexie is very much looking forward to branching out off the court as well.
Chelsea Nichelle Gray is an American professional basketball player for the Las Vegas Aces of the Women's National Basketball Association. Chelsea is a four-time All star, WNBA champion, and an Olympic Gold medalist. She is currently an investor and advisor in both Barcode and HAELO, along with other startups.
Sanya Richards-Ross is the fastest American woman in history at 400 meters. She became the first American woman in 28 years, and only the 2nd in history, to be crowned Olympic Champion over 400m at the 2012 Games in London. Surging past her competitors in the last 50 meters of the race, Richards-Ross claimed her crown as 400 meter queen in dramatic fashion. The London games also set the stage for Sanya to become the second most decorated female track and field Olympians of all time. By winning her 4th gold medal, after anchoring the 4x400m relay team to gold for the 3rd consecutive time, Sanya firmly solidified her place in sports history.
Lauryn Williams, CFP® is a 4-time Olympian, 3-time Olympic medalist and the first American woman to earn a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. While pursuing professional sports Lauryn interacted with not one but two financial advisors that didn’t provide the services she needed. She asked friends what they were doing about their finances and the answers were vague and unsettling. Constantly looking for ways to make a difference in the lives of others she decided to put her Finance degree and MBA to use to fill the gap for young professionals. Eager to learn everything she then pursued the Certified Financial Planning certification. Her company, Worth Winning, offers virtual services to help young professionals get the answers to the financial questions that matter most to them. Whether that is creating a budget, figuring out a plan for paying off student loans, setting goals for savings or understanding your 401(k) Worth Winning is ready to help with all things personal finance.