Best Buy to Invest up to $10M in Brown Venture Group’s Inaugural Fund
Brown Venture Group managing partner Chris Brooks, partner Jerome Hamilton, partner Chris Dykstra, and managing partner Paul Campbell outside their Minneapolis office.

Best Buy to Invest up to $10M in Brown Venture Group’s Inaugural Fund

Fund established to back BIPOC tech entrepreneurs

Technology retail giant Best Buy is committing up to $10 million to Minneapolis-based Brown Venture Group’s inaugural fund. Brown Venture Group was established in 2018 to support BIPOC tech entrepreneurs. Brown Venture has a goal of assembling a $50 million fund to back entrepreneurs of color who have not had access to venture capital financing to build their companies.

In June, Best Buy committed to investing “at least” $1.2 billion in BIPOC and diverse businesses by 2025.

“We’re committed to taking meaningful action to address the challenges faced by BIPOC entrepreneurs,” Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said in a statement. “Through partnerships like this, we believe we can begin to do this by helping to build a stronger, more vibrant community of diverse innovators in the tech industry, some of whom we hope will become partners of Best Buy in the future.”

The partnership goes beyond the investment. Best Buy and Brown Venture Group will work together to create a stronger network of diverse suppliers for the big-box retailer. They will also join forces to launch an entrepreneurial partnership program at Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to develop young entrepreneurs.

“This hometown partnership is especially meaningful and Best Buy is to be commended for its commitment to co-creating solutions that will lead to greater economic flourishing for contributors of color,” said Paul Campbell, Brown Venture Group’s co-founder and managing partner, in a statement.

As the startup climate in Minnesota has heated up, several new investment funds have appeared in recent years including Groove Capital, Bread & Butter Ventures, Traction Capital and others.

“Best Buy’s belief that technology changes lives is in sync with Brown Venture Group’s premise that focusing on technology entrepreneurs not only will create greater economic flourishing in communities of color, it will also unlock previously unrealized innovative capacity in the marketplace,” said Chris Brooks, Brown Venture’s Group’s co-founder and managing partner, in a statement.