About the Authors
Like every VC firm, Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor have experienced high-profile blowups and total losses. But Kapor Capital’s investing principles have created a stunning new ecosystem of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors, all devising innovative, effective solutions to address the most pernicious problems afflicting many of America’s poorest communities. In Closing the Equity Gap, Freada and Mitch share their core beliefs that all companies must make a positive impact, and that the obstacles entrepreneurs overcome in life are a far better predictor of long-term success than the schools they attend or investment dollars raised from friends and family.
Using stories behind some of the most remarkable companies ever launched, they show that the standard investment model doesn’t work, how it can be fixed, and what the future could look like if more investors joined them.
Freada Kapor Klein, PhD
Freada Kapor Klein is on a mission to make the tech industry more diverse and inclusive. As co-founder of Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center, Freada invests in seed-stage tech startups that work to close gaps of access for low-income communities and communities of color. She is the founder of SMASH, which provides rigorous STEM education for low-income high school students of color on university campuses across the country.
Freada co-founded the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, she holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy and Research and is a member of the Obama Foundation Tech Policy Council, the U.C. Berkeley Board of Visitors, and the council that formed the Hollywood Commission. Freada is also the author of Giving Notice, which details the human and financial cost of hidden bias in the workplace.
Mitch is a pioneer of the personal computing industry and long-time startup investor. He founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s. He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet, and served as the founding Chair of Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser.
His successful early investments in the Internet sector, and in streaming media and virtual reality earned him a reputation for seeing around corners. Along with his wife, Dr. Freada Kapor Klein, PhD., for over a decade at Kapor Capital Mitch and Freada have developed a vision and practice of investing in tech startups which close gaps of access, opportunity, or outcome for low-income communities and communities of color and on founders from underrepresented groups.
Through the work of the Kapor Center, Mitch and Freada take a comprehensive approach to removing barriers in education and the workplace for all, fixing the leaks at every stage of the tech pipeline. Mitch serves on the board of SMASH, a non-profit founded by Freada to help underrepresented scholars hone their STEM knowledge while building the networks and skills for careers in tech and the sciences.
“Genius,” Mitch likes to say, “is evenly distributed by Zip Code, but opportunity is not.”