Laura Beier May 26, 2021 5:00:00 AM 4 min read

BETA 2021 DEI Progress Report

This week marks the anniversary of the death of George Floyd, and a year of protesting, mobilizing, and working together to address racial injustice in the United States. 

Around this time last year, BETA made a statement addressing how the organization’s past actions and inactions negatively impacted Black founders in the Minnesota ecosystem, and made commitments to measurable actions to increase equity within the community. 

These commitments included adding Black members to the BETA Board, increasing the diversity on the Cohort selection committee, and implementing tools and techniques in our programming for hiring diverse teams.

Since then, BETA has:

  • Added Clarence Bethea, BETA alum and founder of Upsie, to the BETA Board. 
  • Added Shonnah Hughes, founder of Tech Teen Titans and leader of Women in Tech Diversity and PepUp Tech, to the BETA Board. 
  • Added Aneela Idnani, BETA alum and co-founder of HabitAware, to the BETA Board.
  • Increased representation in Cohort content and increased topics on diversity and inclusion such as ‘Bootstrapping vs. Raising Capital’ by Thompson Aderinkomi, ‘Mission, Vision, Values and Why They Matter’ by Elaine Rasmussen, and ‘The Importance of Personal and Company Branding’ from KNOCK, Inc.
  • Redesigned its selection committee to include a mix of BETA team members, BETA founders, and local community leaders including Black and female experts.
  • Made commitments to increase diversity at Twin Cities Startup Week, including requiring all sessions and events with 3+ speakers to have at least one woman and/or member of the BIPOC community. 


And we’re committed to doing more. In July, the BETA Board will be addressing more actions for 2021 going into 2022 on how we can continue lifting up underrepresented founders, the Black tech community, and more — stay tuned for our next announcement.