In an interview with The Associated Press, Ross discussed the inspiration behind the Black Founders Development Program. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: You’ve said one of the reasons why Black-owned companies receive so little venture capital is that deals are often based on who you know. Can you elaborate?
A: I use an analogy that I got from one of my mentors, an ex alumni of Accenture. One of the things he told us is that corporate America runs by kindergarten rules. You’re out on the playground and you have two teams, and the teacher picks the leader. Who gets chosen first? The first person chosen is generally your friend … That’s the heart of networking. If you are a Black entrepreneur, and you are not in that ecosystem — whether it’s the companies you’ve worked in, the schools you went to — that level