Lightship Capital raising $50M fund to back Midwestern, minority-led startups

Cincinnati-based Lightship Capital made history Friday when it announced what is likely the largest-ever venture capital fund dedicated to investing in Midwestern, minority-led startups. This is also believed to be the largest initial fund run by a Black woman to date.

Lightship Capital is creating a $50 million fund that will support startups led by BIPOC, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities. It will focus on five sectors: artificial intelligence, consumer package goods, sustainability, e-commerce and health care.

To start, the firm has secured $20 million from SecondMuse Capital, the financial investment arm of consulting firm SecondMuse. For more than a decade, SecondMuse has invested in businesses and real estate that help create new economies that are “growing, resilient and inclusive.” They do so by designing, developing and implementing a mix of innovation programming and investing capital.

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