In collaboration with Diversity VC, BP Ventures hosted start-ups and investors in an effort to connect with a more diverse venturing community. Attendees discussed their focus areas and start-up ideas with the BP Ventures team, as well as other BP employees from Alternative Energy and the Advanced Mobility Unit.
BP Ventures’ Katherine Herzog-Parsons and Diversity VC’s Check Warner introduced the event, highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion within the BP Ventures team, wider BP and the industry. Currently, diverse teams are underfunded in Venture Capital; As was recently reported in the Alison Rose report, in the UK, female leadership teams receive less than 1p of every £1 invested in start-ups, despite the research that shows that investing in diverse teams is not only the right thing to do but is good for business. Recently, a McKinsey study showed that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
For BP, diversity is about more than just facts and figures, women, ethnicity, race or religion. “We want diversity of thought and experience and for every different voice in the room to be confident, heard, and respected,” explains Katherine. She continues: “This encourages open-minded discussions, enables BP Ventures to invest in strong teams and find the best business opportunities. The team has had great feedback from the event and will be looking to hold something similar in the future.”
BP Ventures invests in private, high growth, game-changing technology companies. In addition to the core businesses, their focus areas are advanced mobility, advanced bioproducts, digital transformation, carbon management and low carbon power and storage.