Valor Ventures Backed By Kellogg Foundation To Invest In Startups Led By Underrepresented Founders

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Valor Ventures Fund 2 attracts The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), The Georgia Tech Foundation and more sophisticated institutional investors through its commitment to premium venture capital returns paired with a commitment to racial and gender inclusion. The Kellogg Foundation investment represents approximately 10% of the targeted $25 million investment vehicle.

Lisa Calhoun, founding general partner at Valor, says, “Premium venture capital returns and inclusion mutually strengthen each other. Startups that get inclusion right, and those who invest in them, position themselves to win outsize returns.” Across the Valor’s portfolio so far, 70% of investments are in startups led by women and people of color. Valor Ventures Fund 2 has already made four investments–Physician360, Vital4 Technologies, LeaseQuery and Capway.

Research shows that investments in diverse founding teams historically return 30% more capital to investors

Cynthia Muller, director of investment at WKKF, says, “The Kellogg Foundation has remained focused on building a portfolio that strategically disrupts markets in order to drive more capital to low-income communities and communities of color. Because ultimately, more equitable communities allow children and their families to thrive. Valor’s Inclusion Premium investing philosophy stands out as a hands-on approach to maximizing returns through the investment in people of color and women. We’re compelled by the clear value proposition of investing at the seed stage in the Southeast and Valor’s leadership in the region.”

As a part of its inclusive sourcing activities, Valor produces the largest pitch event for startups led by people of color and women, Startup Runway. Investors and founders are invited September 9 for the showcase of competitively-selected, under-represented founders. Valor’s event was launched in 2016–this is its 9th Showcase of under-represented founders. “We’re not newcomers to this mission or strategy. The Black Lives Matter movement and the inequities illuminated by the COVID-19 crisis bring even more urgency to the opportunity to invest with financial rigor and inclusion to get top returns,” says Calhoun.

About Valor Ventures

Founded in 2015 to pair premium venture capital returns with inclusion, Valor Ventures backs experienced founders solving big problems with software at the first professional round. We focus in the fastest-growing, largest region in the US, the Southeast, which features 40% of the U.S. population and the greatest density of under-represented founders. Our purpose is creating market-leading returns for our stakeholders. Our mission is making inclusion the new normal in venture capital. Our platform includes Startup Runway, the largest pitch event for underrepresented founders in the country; the Atlanta Startup Podcast; and Atlanta Tech Park, the 45,000 sqft innovation center dedicated to accelerating local tech innovation globally. Find out more at

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. To learn more, visit or follow WKKF on Twitter at @wk_kellogg_fdn.