If you identify as a Person of Color (POC), Woman or LGBTQ+ founder or co-founder, we want to give you a 92% annual discount on our Startup Plan - you're entitled to subscribe to an annual Startup Plan subscription to Cuttles for the cost of 1 month on the Startup Plan, €30. We hope with this we can help you even more throughout those first, crucial years of venture building, both by providing a fun and exciting universe and a powerful platform for learning about entrepreneurship, doing business planning, financial forecasts and preparing investor pitches, but also by offering individual guidance and support from our online Startup Success Managers.
How to get the discount?
Sign up to Cuttles and start any kind of trial. Fill in the form at the bottom of this page or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org from the e-mail you signed up to Cuttles with. State what diversity/minority group you identify as. You could simply put an emoji (e.g. 🏳️🌈, 👸🏽 or 👩🏾🦱) or just write it out. We'll apply the discount to your account as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.
Why do we do this?
For the greater part of the past decade, an increasing amount of research and data from companies like McKinsey, Harvard Business Review, CB Insights and Crunchbase, has shed light on the need for and effect of diversity when building solutions for the world’s problems, big and small. And the results are clear. Having people from different backgrounds on teams and in business is not just a branding statement. It leads to greater innovation, inclusive products that reach more customers and higher profitability. In other words, diversity makes better businesses, society more prosperous and is, per definition, a great investment. But if that’s the case, how come diversity in startups and venture capital is so far behind? Shouldn’t the startup industry be the frontrunners and brave enough to change a broken culture?
These were some of the questions we asked ourselves when we began looking into diversity in the startups.
One of the first facts that stood out to us was that just 2-3% of global venture capital is invested in women-led businesses, however, 38% of all new startups in the US alone are founded by women. If we look at diverse founding teams with at least one woman, the numbers are slightly better but still just around 15-17%. In Q1 2019, 83% of venture capital went to all-male founders, but if you scratch the surface of data from VC firms, it actually shows that diverse businesses outperform all-male teams by quite a lot.
And if you look at founders, who are people of color, the numbers are no more uplifting. Only 2.8% of VC backed startups have Black or Latinx founders. Considering how much of the world’s population these people constitute, this makes no sense whatsoever to us.
Taking a look at our population's general composition and who holds the most buying power only makes you wonder more. The majority of people in the world are people of color. Women represent 49.6% of the population - and gender identity is increasingly expansive and fluid. According to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, 85% of consumer purchases are made by women. In the US alone, African-American consumers hold $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, according to a 2019 report from Nielsen.
Considering the fact that solutions built by diverse businesses capture more customers, it’s hard to explain why minority founders have such a hard time getting even approximately the funding to build their businesses that white-male founders do. And it’s no wonder that women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people and other minority groups are hesitant to take the leap and start their own businesses.
The numbers speak for themselves. When it comes to starting a business, especially ventures with the potential and ambition to grow big and fast, equal opportunities don’t exist.
For us at Cuttles, it isn’t enough to speak up, do a campaign or donate to a good cause. Instead, we want to change our pricing model to reflect a greater support and empowerment to diverse founders and founding teams, and that is why we have introduced our Diversity Pricing.
And while we’re just a small fish in a huge sea, we would really like to challenge more startups and corporates to try out similar approaches. We think we can empower minority founders to plan and present businesses that will demand the attention they deserve from VCs, consumers and the world, but if the big players don’t want to play along, what we do won’t make much of a difference.
Want to learn more about diversity in startups?
We compiled a list of the research and studies we've read through in our Notion, which we happily share publicly. Check it out here 🌈Diversity Pricing Project.
If you have any suggestions to the list, please send them to us at email@example.com
If you are a white male 👱🏻♂️ and you've read this far
If you want to take part in this 92% discount and fight for more diversity in startups, we'll apply the discount to your account as well if you donate min. €100 to a worthy cause that deals with diversity. Just send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and attach a picture of your receipt!
Can we do better?
We are always curious and would love to get your feedback and inspiration on how we can do even better in helping more diverse founders and founding teams. If you have feedback or any suggestion, we would greatly appreciate if you write us an e-mail to email@example.com!