Thursday, June 13, 2024


The BFM Fund Selected As An SSBCI Funder Through State of Oregon, Joins Recast’s Accelerate Fellowship Program and Provides Snapshot of What’s Ahead Through Q4 2023

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Amidst market volatility and legacy fundraising challenges, emerging fund managers continue to make a splash as they disrupt the venture ecosystem. “The BFM Fund team has had an eventful summer and we’re gearing up for an incredible Fall conference season,” says Himalaya Rao-Potlapally, Managing Director of The BFM Fund. “It has been a great honor to be selected as an SSBCI funder, a fellow with Recast Capital and VC Include, to lead healing sessions for women of color leaders across the country, and to be recognized for the continuous work we are doing to expand the accessibility of entrepreneurship to BIPOC and rural communities as a pathway for economic development and generational wealth building.”

Over the last few months, The BFM Fund has had several milestone announcements:

Business Oregon BOV Fund Program – Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, announced its intent to award $3M to The BFM Fund. The Business Oregon Venture Fund Program (BOV Fund Program) is awarding a total of $5M to three Oregon-based fund managers to increase access to venture capital for as many as 50 early-stage startups. The BFM Fund is looking forward to deploying the capital to support the robust innovation ecosystem that has been building in Oregon over the last 10 years and has already obtained $1.5mm of the $3mm required private match funds.

Recast Cohort Accelerate Program – Recast Capital, a platform dedicated to investing in and supporting emerging managers in venture, announced the first cohort of Recast Accelerate, a catalytic program designed to drive the success of women and nonbinary-led, early stage US funds in venture capital—Himalaya Rao was selected as one of the 36 fall 2023 inaugural cohort members. Of the 36 selected funds, 25% include at least one GP that is Black, 17% Latinx, 39% Asian, 8% from the LGBTQIA+ community, and 36% are first-generation U.S. citizens. The funds are headquartered all across the US, covering 13 states and over 83% of the funds involved are raising Fund I and 53% are a solo GP. Some of the top sectors of focus include health and wellness, consumer technology and climate technology.

Boston Impact Initiative (BII), 2023 Emerging Fund Manager Cohort – Himalaya Rao and Marquita Jamarillo were selected to participate in BII’s third emerging fund manager cohort program in summer 2023. The program provides education and training to diverse, emerging fund managers who are interested in designing and launching integrated capital funds dedicated to closing the racial wealth divide. Himalaya and Marquita both successfully completed the program alongside 12 other participants representing 8 place-based funds in six cities where they learned about integrated capital, stakeholder development, investment criteria, governance structures, fund design and modeling, impact measurement and management, and raising capital.

Black Venture Summit, Build in TulsaHimalaya Rao and The BFM Fund have been selected to participate in the The Black Venture Summit which brings together the top Black talent in venture capital from across America to Tulsa, Oklahoma from October 4-6, 2023. Himalaya will have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with those at the forefront of equity and inclusion in the venture capital ecosystem. The summit’s goal is to bring together leading GPs and seasoned LPs committed to investing in diverse fund managers.

Recent Award Wins – The BFM Fund was recently awarded 2023 Afrotech’s Future 50 Investor, recognizing those who are advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and innovation through their career endeavors. Furthermore, Himalya Rao also received the Recent Alumni Leadership, Innovative Achievement Award from Willamette University.

These recent wins join the Managing Director’s already impressive roster of wins including:

Black Friday Film Premiere – September 1 marked “Black Friday”, a community event hosted by Devin Boss and Zoe Piliafas, at Hollywood Theatre which served as the debut for the first two episodes of a Portland-produced docuseries about Black Oregon entrepreneurs. The night also included a panel of business leaders in which Marquita Jaramillo, Principal at The BFM Fund shared the stage alongside Fund friend and community partner, All Raise CEO- Paige Hendrix Buckner, who is a fierce advocate for the inclusion of women in business. The panel was moderated by Microenterprise Services of Oregon Director, Cobi Lewis to celebrate and pay homage to the trailblazers and Black entrepreneurs of Oregon.

If you’re looking to connect with Himalaya Rao or The BFM Fund team, they will be hosting and speaking at several events this upcoming conference season:

Upcoming Calendar of Events featuring or hosted by The BFM Fund

The BFM Fund will also be supporting the following organizations at their community-centered events this Fall:

The BFM Fund
The BFM Fund is a seed-stage venture investment fund, routinely investing in Black and innovative founders who create startups based in the United States. The fund is returns-focused and seeks scalable ventures across multiple industries between the Series Seed and Series A life-stage. Beyond capital, The BFM Fund partners with industry-specific lead firms in the Series A to Series C stage to help its portfolio companies scale efficiently. The fund strategy is to be a “feeder fund” to larger industry-specific funds who lack diversity in their portfolio and connect innovative founders with a pathway to liquidity, creating intentionality in demographic-based investing. To learn more about The BFM Fund, please visit or connect with them on Linkedin (@bfmfund). Any inquiries can be sent to

SOURCE The BFM Fund (Black Founders Matter Fund)

Originally published at–first-time-awards-anchor-the-bfm-funds-summer-2023-milestone-announcements-301928019.html
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