These Investors Are Backing The Gen Z Founders Building A Better Tomorrow

From gaming-focused tech startups to companies focused on sexual and reproductive health, 2023’s under-30 investors are putting money into companies founded by and for immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ+ peers.

go through Alex Conrad, Maria Gracia Santiana Linares and Elizabeth Brier


for David Brillenburg Jr., investing is fun and games. The 24-year-old Dune Ventures founder dropped out of NYU a few years ago to help gaming startups secure significant venture capital funding to realize their visions. In 2020, he launched his own company, raised more than $100 million, and has invested $50 million to date in companies including game editing service Medal.tv and virtual reality game studio Ramen VR.

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“I grew up playing games. I understand games,” Brillembourg said, “and I still play games all day.”

2023 youngest finalist Forbes Brillembourg, named on the 30 Under 30 VC list, sees his age as an asset, allowing him to connect with brash and young founders in the gaming space. But he’s also part of a new wave of faces in venture capital who are showing leadership differently, building on founders and each other, and helping to usher in a new generation in increasingly important fields like cannabis, climate, and more. entrepreneur. reproductive health care.

This year’s 30 Under 30 VC list, which goes head-to-head with Gen Z, also reflects a slow but meaningful shift in the demographics of startup investors: A record number of investors of color were among the finalists on this year’s list, There were 20, including 13 finalists who were identified as women.

This shift is also evident in the companies they support.to Eric Lin, 29, Investing is as much about the founder as it is about the business. Lim founded Potluck Ventures earlier this year, focusing on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) founders, to create a space for the community he wants to grow himself.Lim has raised millions of dollars and invested in five AAPI-led companies to date, but his job is more than just writing a check: the investor has also assembled a consortium of more than 500 other community members, Invest with him and benefit from it

In limited venture capital firms, Kay CunninghamThe 28-year-old also wants to make venture capital more inclusive in his community. The African-American investor is helping professional athletes and entertainers invest their wealth through Limited. With over 80 high-profile athletes currently investing through Limited, the firm has invested over $20 million in startups, while also becoming more financially savvy and successful investors.

Then Spice Capital founder Maya Baquet, 28, who believes that everyone can be an investor. Bakhai, who previously worked at Kevin Durant’s 35 Ventures, describes herself as a product of the “Robin Hood generation,” and didn’t hesitate to launch a $10 million early-stage fund to invest in herself, more than half of which was partnered by women. She focuses on founders solving problems for the next generation of internet-native consumers, including companies working in crypto, capital, and community.

Leonardo Arango29, and Alexis AlstonThe 27-year-old One Way Ventures and Lightship Capital are supporting their investors of color with industry-wide reports, podcasts and meetups.others, such as Tobycock, 28, from Felicis, sits on the boards of industry groups such as BLCK VC.Then there are those, such as Hunter McNabb, At 29 at 9 Yards Capital, he proudly mentors and advises LGBTQ+ and other underrepresented founders.


Many are founders of companies such as the Adapt Ventures brothers Mohammad Amdani, 27, and Amar Amdani, twenty four. Chase Pulido25, founded healthcare-focused Alix Ventures and made 15 investments. Tim Schlitter29, started the psychedelics-focused Palo Santo based on his personal experience dealing with depression. AlirodMeanwhile, the 28-year-old is seeking to help the early founders of her new company, Outset Capital, with one $200,000 check at a time and Airtable targeting follow-on investors.

others, such as Zhu Jiali, 29 years old, has gained a firm foothold in a well-known venture capital company. As a partner at TCV, Zhu has helped companies such as Brex, Nubank, and ByteDance deploy over $1.3 billion in capital. Morgan Cheetham, 27, is the youngest investor to hold a board seat on behalf of his firm, Bessemer Venture Partners. You’ll find up-and-coming leaders from big names like Accel, Meritech, and ICONIQ among the ranks.

What they all have in common: Entrepreneurship, a sense of purpose and leadership beyond context, company size or investment stage.It’s probably no better than passing david bird, 29, was nearly killed in a shark attack years ago. Soon after, Byrd was reborn, raising $10 million in funding to back semiconductor companies. Now a partner at BlueYard Capital, the software engineer-turned-investor is helping founders of a new category, decentralized wireless (DeWi).

This year’s 30 Under 30 list was compiled by Senior Editor Alex Konrad, Program Manager Elisabeth Brier and Assistant Editor Maria Gracia Santillana Linares. Our judges were Kathryn Haun, Founder and CEO, Haun Ventures; Garry Tan, Partner and Founder, Initialized; Logan Bartlett, Managing Director, Redpoint Ventures and Under 30 alumnus; Sarah Kunst, She is an alumnus of All-Stars Under 30 and Managing Director of Cleo Capital.

For a link to the complete VC Under 30 list, click hereand full coverage of 30 Under 30, Click here.

Gallery: Callout 30 Under 30 2023

20 images

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