Women-led GP incubator ups capacity amid high volume of applications

Recast Accelerate is testing the hypothesis that supporting diverse managers 'will see more underrepresented founders receive funding', according to founder Sara Zulkosky.

Thirty-six VC firms have been selected for Recast Accelerate, a programme designed to help US women and non-binary led managers develop their operations, according to a statement.

The Accelerate programme is run by VC fund investor Recast Capital with support from Pivotal Ventures. It grants GPs $100,000 each in expenses to help them build out their operations. In addition, the managers receive executive coaching and access to Recast’s enablement programme, a 12-week course designed to educate firms on fundraising strategies and firm building.

The cohort was originally intended to be 30 managers, but the volume and quality of applications led Recast to increase the number to 36, Recast co-founder Sara Zulkosky told New Private Markets. In total, 87 VCs put themselves forward after applications opened in May. New cohorts will be announced on an annual basis.

Eighty-three percent of the managers included are raising their first fund and 53 percent are one-person operations, per the statement. “We did ask about track record, but that certainly wasn’t the Holy Grail of this process at all,” said Zulkosky. “What we were excited to do was to identify funds that were led by general partners that had really unique industry expertise that could really bring with them a differentiated investment thesis for their fund.”

As well as helping specific managers, the programme also forms part of a research project. “We’re essentially testing a hypothesis with this support that by supporting more women-led and non-binary-led emerging fund managers in market, particularly those focused at the earliest stages of company development, that we will see more underrepresented founders receive funding,” Zulkosky explained.

To that end, Recast receives nothing in return for the funding and resources it is providing to the cohort, but is asking them report on the demographics of the founders in which they are investing from the fund being raised while going through the programme.