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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

venture capital


Since 2008, the Alternative Investments Conference has served as a forum for private equity, hedge fund, venture capital and other alternative asset professionals to network, share ideas and stay abreast of industry trends.

Thought leaders, policymakers, business leaders, experts, government officials, researchers, scholars and other key stakeholders convene for a two-day event focused on the latest issues impacting the fintech ecosystem.

The symposium will highlight recent research on buyouts, private credit, and venture capital, among other topics. Hosted by the Private Equity Research Consortium (PERC).

Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow Emmanuel Yimfor of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business tells leaders that when there are no win-win solutions among stakeholders, it’s important to explain the issues that are at the heart of stakeholder capitalism.

Yimfor, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, will discuss his recent work on how access to venture capital varies by the founder’s race and alma mater and explore mechanisms driving the variation.

Some analysis indicates companies with diverse executive teams drive more revenue and are more likely to experience higher profits relative to their nondiverse peers, yet founding teams for both high-growth startups and the private capital groups that fund them stand in stark contrast to the U.S. working age population. Why? And why should it matter? In this week’s Kenan Insight, Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow Emmanuel Yimfor unpacks statistics on the composition of both high-growth startups and private capital groups, explores the economic and societal implications of their lack of diversity and provides suggestions to facilitate change.

A panel from this year's Alternative Investments Conference discusses how venture capital is playing catch-up on ESG investing, "knowing what levers you can pull," and the opportunity for huge growth in this week's Kenan Insight.

As venture capital markets have surged in recent years, early access to capital remains highly localized. We examine changes that can help investors connect with underrepresented entrepreneurs outside traditional funding hubs, from innovative organizations to improvements in transportation.

Does the quality of startups increase when the quantity drops? Does entrepreneurial experience help or hurt a corporate job candidate? Do diverse teams make for better startups? The 2022 Trends in Entrepreneurship report brings together our global network of affiliated experts to address these questions and more – with key findings highlighted in this week’s insight.

With a recent report from the United Nations warning that climate change has already begun to cause irreversible damage, experts during the 2022 Kenan Institute Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Conference discussed the role innovation can – and should – be playing to combat these ill effects. This week’s insight explores the topic through Q&A with Dr. Eric Toone, executive managing director and technology lead at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Dr. Jacqueline Pless, the Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management.

This session delves into three critical aspects of smaller/regional funds. First, is their role in increasing diversity among both capital allocators and entrepreneurs who receive funding. Second, is how pooling capital in diversified vehicles that can invest locally can promote investment by larger VCs/investors. Third, is how regional funds can bridge the divides in communities that lack robust VC ecosystems.

Total funding in North Carolina hit a record $3.4 billion in 2020 with the potential to hit $4 billion in 2021, along with a 10% increase in the number of companies funded, but it’s often a challenge to get cash cycled into new companies and new investments.