Hi folks! I’m Spiffy, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth, back with a new guest. Darrel Frater, an Investment Associate with Visible Hands, is committed to making a difference in the world. Let’s see how he’s doing it!
Spiffy: Welcome to my humble abode, Darrel. Let’s get started. What challenge are you addressing through your work with Visible Hands?
Darrel: Pleasure to be here, Spiffy! Visible Hands is a venture capital firm with a 14-week, virtual-first accelerator on a mission to highlight and invest in the limitless potential of overlooked founders. At the earliest stages of company-building, we provide meaningful funding (up to $175K), personalized support, and social capital to help our founders build exceptional technology startups.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Darrel: Since 2018, I've been extremely passionate about playing a major role in closing the racial wealth gap. I believe that through entrepreneurship this and many of the other major problems in the world can be solved. As a VC, I have the opportunity to support the entrepreneurs seeking to solve real-world problems through their businesses.
Spiffy: How would you say that Visible Hands is working towards a more equitable world?
Darrel: At Visible Hands we are a diversity-focused fund. We invest in women and founders of color through our accelerator programs. Through these programs, we equip these founders with the resources and support they need to have a fair shot at building their business. These founders are typically overlooked by the traditional venture capital industry, so organizations like ours are filling the need gap.
Spiffy: Tell me more! Is there a recent milestone or initiative you want to share?
Darrel: We have recently launched a new fellowship program for Latinx founders in partnership with Google for Startups called VHLX. Through VHLX we will be providing 20 Latinx founders $10,000 in non-dilutive capital and resources through our 20-week fellowship. After the fellowship is over these founders will have the opportunity to receive up to $150,000 in additional capital from Visible Hands. Applications for this program closes on June 24th, 2022.
Spiffy: Wow that sounds amazing. Now, tell me about a startup or project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to make.
Darrel: Aside from my work as an investor at Visible Hands, I am also the founder of a startup called TheClub which is a community-based live-streaming platform that connects people through engaging virtual parties. I believe that relationship building is key for breaking down racial and economic barriers. We have created a new and exciting way to meet people online by taking the concept of a nightclub and turning it into an interactive online experience.
Spiffy: I must check it out! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Darrel: My journey into venture capital was untraditional and this is partially because I didn't learn about what venture capital was until I was 25. For anyone interested in entrepreneurship and investing, I'd highly recommend getting started as early as possible. The sooner you engage with the startup community, the more time you get to begin building relationships and opening up new opportunities.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Darrel—it’s been an honor!
Darrel Frater is an Investment Associate at Visible Hands VC where he assists the VH team in managing a portfolio of 45 companies. He is a three-time founder with his latest company being a community-based live-streaming platform called TheClub which he founded in 2020. He is a recent MBA graduate from The College of New Jersey where he studied strategy, innovation, and leadership. (First published on the Ladderworks website on July 12, 2022.)