FAMU Among Nine HBCUs in Partnership with The Historic Fund to Grow Their Endowments

July 06, 2023
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FAMU Among Nine HBCUs in Partnership with The Historic Fund to Grow Their Endowments

Florida A&M University is among nine public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) invited to partner with venture capital funds to help grow their endowments.

A new venture capital fund of funds, The Historic Fund, recently formally launched its inaugural $10 million effort to support the endowments of HBCUs.

According to a statement, “The Historic Fund is a unique philanthropic initiative that invited selected HBCUs to be limited partners without investing their own assets.”

Instead, the fund raised capital from partners of the participating funds: Acrew Capital, B Capital, Cowboy Ventures, First Round Capital, FirstMark Capital, Foundry, General Catalyst, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures.

In addition to FAMU, the HBCUs invited to join the initiative are Benedict College, Bennett College, Fisk University, Hampton University, Morehouse College, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana. As of May 31, 2023, the FAMU Foundation endowment is $108,925, 362.00.

“We are so excited to be among the HBCUs to partner with The Historic Fund because all of our missions align,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FAMU Foundation. “I look forward to the fruits that this partnership will bear.”

The goal of the fund of funds is not only to bolster the endowments of HBCUs, but also to foster connectivity between these institutions and the broader venture capital community. Historically, opportunities in venture capital, both for funding and for employment, have been concentrated among graduates of a small number of universities.

The Historic Fund hopes to leverage its position at the intersection of the HBCU community and the venture capital community to develop programming that will expand opportunities for students curious about entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as support administrations exploring alternative asset class strategies with their endowments, organizers said in a statement.

“As we continue to combat the racial inequities that Black students face, The Historic Fund aims to relieve the disproportionate financial pressure on Black families, while also providing essential funding for research and innovation at each of these institutions,” said Ken Chenault, chairman and a managing director of the venture capital firm General Catalyst, and the former chairman and CEO of American Express, in a press release.