D&I Series – Carlos Antequera, Co-Founder & CEO of Novel Capital | Episode 216

For our last episode of diversity and inclusion month, we take DEI to a place that could offer one of the most crucial necessities for a diverse and inclusive mindset: the VC space. And to discuss this segment with us, we have Novel Capital Co-Founder and CEO Carlos Antequera.

For those of you who may not know, Novel Capital leverages technology and data to provide non-diluted capital to tech entrepreneurs that don’t fit traditional bank requirements or are not an ideal match for the traditional equity process. They employee a little more than 20 people and services a few hundred customers currently, with the majority of their customers being tech founders or software entrepreneurs. The company’s goal is to collect key data points from their clients and then use their algorithms and expert data teams to provide a conducive capital match within a 10-day window.

When it comes to the venture capital space, Carlos will be the first to tell you that unconscious bias has the potential to run rampant with traditional VCs when it comes to funding companies. He explains that many will try to find a pattern around what has been successful in the past and stick to that same recipe for their future investments. Ingredients include things like the college the potential founder attended (was it Ivy League or not?), their degree, and even the type of business they’re looking to start. And this can obviously be a challenge for minority applicants who may not have grown up in a life of privilege and expectation.

Tune in this week to hear Carlos talk about his journey to CEO, how his own challenges with DEI drove his passion to start Novel Capital and what he views as the most necessary requirement for a successful DEI initiative. We also talk about the need for DEI to start at the educational level and the outlook for diverse founders looking to secure funding during the current economic climate.