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Serena Williams donates $1 million to HBCU student for winning the startup pitch competition
"It's really just about following people of color and women and giving them the same opportunities," she said.
Published Dec 19, 2021
During the inaugural Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic at the Prudential Center this weekend, Serena Williams partnered with actor Michael B. Jordan to donate $1M to one HBCU student winner of the Legacy Classic HBCU Startup Pitch Competition.
"We see a lot of venture companies investing in a lot of people, but it's really just about following people of color and women and giving them the same opportunities," she said during the live broadcast on TNT.
Serena's older sister Isha Price and her niece both graduated from Howard University and this really cemented Serena's connection with historical Black colleges. It's all about shining a light and giving the same opportunities to people of color and women for the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Investing is nothing new for Serena who has always been taught to plan by her father Richard. Although she's quite busy making history on the tennis court, she's made time for planning and investing beyond the baseline for nearly a decade. With her firm "Serena Ventures" she is dedicated to igniting change by investing in opportunities that make the everyday lives of everyday people better. The firm is all about empowerment and allowing creativity to grow by focusing on early-stage startups.
"Ventures is one thing I'm incredibly passionate about. I learned that less than 2% of women in 2020 were getting funded and then 1.2% of people of color were getting money from VC founders—and we're talking tons of money are all going to one type of individual.
"So, it's not a requirement for you to be a woman or person of color, but the team that we've hired—our whole team we just look at people in a different way," she said.
TracFlo was the winner of the pitch competition and is a mobile app and financial tool designed for construction workers to help contractors manage project risk.