UK to host first intersectionality event for LGBTQ+, migrant tech founders

A first-of-its-kind event is coming to London to highlight the need for intersectionality in investing. Dubbed an ‘(un)conference’ due its focus on championing unheard voices and pioneering a new approach to tech events, the intersectional incredibles Forum (iiF) will be hosted on 16 July at Google headquarters in London.

Created by i³ investing, an initiative focused on incubating and investing in LGBTQ+ founders and investors, the event will be the first opportunity to bring together key players in the venture capital (VC) ecosystem to address the lack of funding, opportunity, and future state for LGBTQ+ founders, through the lens of intersectionality.

Intersectionality is defined as belonging to two or more historically or currently marginalised communities (such as Queer and Black). This year’s ‘intersectional spotlight’ will be on migrant founders.

This news follows the recent announcement of a strategic partnership between i³ investing and Crunchbase to provide all UK and Europe-based founders who identify as LGBTQ+ with the opportunity to tag themselves as such on their Crunchbase profile. This data will form part of an EMEA-wide survey unpacking the intersectionality of LGBTQ+ founders, including their experience of funding and investor relations.

i³ has secured several partners from across the ecosystem to support the iiF conference, including HSBC Innovation Banking, Newton Venture Program, and Mishcon de Reya.

Christian Tooley, i³ investing founder and CEO, said: “There are many VC conferences, but none that are dedicated to candidly unpacking intersectionality. We want to bridge that gap and tackle ‘diversity-washing’ across the VC and startup ecosystems. This is an opportunity to turn LGBTQ+ inclusion on its head, nurture connections that will foster change, and gather unique insights.

“In the UK we are at a pivotal moment for these groups, where legislation and culture is targeting them and we want to shine a light to celebrate these overlooked founders, with their critical contributions.

“At i³, we focus on our queer capital triangle which involves our core audience: innovators and investors. These are the limited partners, investors, and founders that collectively can bring together the elements of intersectional investing through practical discussion, connecting the dots, and driving sustainable growth.

“We encourage everyone that wants to attend to register their interest, but we are focused on a balance across the ecosystem. We want those who attend to walk away with actions and to share their plans with their peers rather than this being another ‘food for thought’ event. We want action.”

Stephen Lowery, Head of Investor Coverage and Business Development, at HSBC Innovation Banking, comments: “Innovation needs different, and at HSBC Innovation Banking we’re long-term supporters of initiatives that strive to create a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem. We’re excited to be partnering with i³ investing to help champion LGBTQ+ and migrant founders and funders, as well as start a valuable dialogue around the importance of intersectionality within investment.”