A coalition of tech companies and venture capital firms is starting an internship program this summer to address the lack of minorities in the tech industry.
PledgeLA will provide a paid, 10-week internship to a Los Angeles venture capital firm, including two weeks of training to learn the fundamentals of investing and entrepreneurship.
Among PledgeLA members are Hub101, the tech incubator in Thousand Oaks; Elevate My Brand, a digital marketing and live events agency in Toluca Lake; and Vntana, a developer of interactive hologram technology in Van Nuys.
The internship program is in response to a survey of Los Angeles area venture capital firms that showed 41 percent of respondents are people of color, 60 percent of investors are male, and 51 percent rarely or never volunteer with a nonprofit. Only 9 percent of respondents said their firm offered diversity and inclusion training for staff.
The internship program seeks undergrads and graduate students from any college or university who are underrepresented minorities, including Black, Latinx, Native American, women, first-generation college students and veterans.