The financial services industry has a diversity problem.
Just 1% of the $70 trillion wealth management is controlled by women or minority fund managers, which directly and indirectly impacts the dollars invested in female and underrepresented founders. In 2020, the Founder Institute reported that Black leaders make up only 2% of senior positions in venture capital firms.
To help mitigate this glaring disparity, the University Growth Fund (UGF), partnered with Ally, to expand its offices into Atlanta, offering real-life, venture capital experience to a diverse pool of students. The Atlanta expansion enables the incubator program to reach more diverse students and aligns with Ally’s commitment to invest in Black futures, particularly in underrepresented, yet high-paying career fields such as VC and private equity.
The largest student-run equity fund in the country, UGF provides unique access to the highly competitive and lucrative career track of venture capital through hands-on experience. Now, with support from Ally Financial, UGF has expanded its operations to Atlanta—home to 26,000 college and university students of color—to ensure more Black and Brown students have access to this underrepresented field.
“Only 2% of venture capital leaders are Black, making venture capital one of the least diverse fields in our country,” said Peter Harris, founding partner of University Growth Fund said in a news release. “We want to change that. Our expansion to Atlanta will be a milestone moment in terms of creating a pipeline for talented Black and Brown students who have wanted to explore the field but just haven’t had the entry point.”
A hub of higher education and top location for VC deals, UGF said that Atlanta is a natural choice for its expansion. The city is home to 57 colleges and universities, including four historically black colleges and universities. With dozens of funds and accelerators, Atlanta provides a rich environment for career exploration. The new UGF office opened recently in downtown Atlanta.
“The goal of our work with UGF is to open many more doors to high-earning opportunities for Black and Brown students,” said Di Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products, Ally Bank. “UGF has a strong track record of changing lives by providing students with the experience needed to join the world of high finance. Our team at Ally is excited to work beside them to offer that crucial experience to young talent in the Atlanta area.”