Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

At Baltic Ventures one of our guiding principles is the knowledge that great companies can come from anywhere and be founded by anyone. No single geographical region has the monopoly on transformative ideas or great talent and so it makes sense to seek out great companies in more places, and specifically in the North of England which is often overlooked; transformational technology companies which tackle meaningful challenges, enhancing our lives and creating substantial value in the process come from anywhere and everywhere. 

The democratisation of opportunity should not be limited to geography. Technology now affects pretty much all aspects of our lives. Every industry across every sector is being reimagined with new processes, and that always starts with people willing to build companies and those willing to back them. Too often, these people are from a select and homogeneous pool of people who look and think the same. The ecosystem needs more diversity of race, gender and perspective. This way the companies that are built, and the products and services they create, will better reflect the communities they serve. Not addressing this means the world is missing out on someone who might develop the next ground breaking technology that vastly improves our collective future.

At Baltic Ventures, we are committed to building a prosperous, sustainable, diverse, inclusive and mission-driven tech ecosystem. We believe a more diverse and inclusive technology industry will increase opportunities for everyone. 

Investors, accelerators and incubators, including Baltic Ventures, have a vital role to play in building a more diverse and inclusive technology ecosystem. We all invest in companies whose products will potentially be used by millions of people, employ hundreds of thousands and generate huge economic value. With that in mind, there are two parallel areas that Baltic Ventures can directly influence to improve diversity and inclusion in the technology ecosystem:

 

Team

Baltic Ventures is a diverse, equal opportunity organisation that is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.

We abide with the equality act of 2010 and embrace our teams’ different protected characteristics. We encourage our differences in age, ethnicity, disability, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.

Baltic Ventures ED&I initiatives are applicable, but not limited to, our practices and policies on recruitment and selection; compensation and benefits; professional development and training; promotions; social and recreational programs; and the ongoing development of a work environment built on the premise of gender and diversity equity that encourages and enforces:

  • Respectful communication and cooperation between all employees.
  • Teamwork and employee participation, permitting the representation of all groups and employee perspectives.
  • Decisions concerning staff to be based on merit, making  opportunities for training, development and progress available to all staff, we encourage everyone to develop their full potential. Work/life balance through flexible work schedules to accommodate employees’ varying needs

All employees of Baltic Ventures have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect at all times. All employees are expected to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion during work, at work functions on or off the work site, and at all other company-sponsored and participative events. 

Any employee found to have exhibited any inappropriate conduct or behaviour against others may be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Investing

Baltic Ventures finds and invests in the best and most ambitious founders from a diverse set of demographics, backgrounds, and experiences. Baltic Ventures actively supports portfolio companies to be leaders in building diverse teams and inclusive cultures. Baltic Ventures engages and supports underrepresented individuals, organisations and relevant investors in the tech community, focused particularly on discovering the best underrepresented founder talent and supporting them to reach seed stage and beyond.

Baltic Ventures’ definition of underrepresentation includes gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and socioeconomic background (including education). Through impact monitoring we measure applications to and participation in our programmes, and partner programmes such as our Startup Bootcamp powered by OneTech to understand how we are engaging with underrepresented groups. Each year we will publish a report on how we’re doing and the impact we’re having.

We at Baltic Ventures know we will only deliver sustainable, systemic change for our organisation and the ecosystem by focusing on how we source our cohorts, what we invest in and the support we offer to those in our portfolio and beyond. 

We also need to support our ecosystem early in the process to build the right conditions for more underrepresented founders to get to the stage where Baltic Ventures can invest. That means helping to break down some of the barriers which exist and creating new networks. 

Our organisation is aligned to the following measures:

  1. A set of target outputs for our accelerator programme that we report on and are held accountable to by our funder to ensure we are working with underrepresented founder groups including women and founders from ethnic backgrounds.
  2. Comprehensive impact monitoring and reporting processes to consistently monitor who we are working with and supporting and where they have come from.
  3. We partnered with organisations such as OneTech to deliver pre-accelerator support in our regional ecosystem, the Liverpool City Region, focused on providing pathways for under-represented groups into tech entrepreneurship. This included free informal 121 support, office hours, founder weekends and business bootcamps.
  4. Our talent programme provides internship and employment opportunities for local emerging talent to work in and explore career pathways in tech startups.
  5. Making our culture open and inclusive.
  6. We support organisations in our ecosystem that work with underrepresented founders at the earliest stages.
  7. We seek opportunities to nurture a more diverse angel pool and network, knowing that more diversity amongst investors leads to more diversity in the companies they invest in.
  8. Our programme contracts require that cohort companies have a Diversity & ESG Policy within six months of taking a place on our accelerator programme. Talent, Sustainability and Diversity Coaches on our accelerator programmes help companies get these in place. Our Talent and Diversity Coaches also help our founders build more diverse leadership teams, company culture and hiring processes.

We want to hear from others in the ecosystem – particularly from underrepresented founders, from organisations and individuals focused on improving representation in the tech ecosystem and from anyone who shares our mission. Please contact us using the below information:

  • If you want to work with us please send your CV to hello@balticventures.uk 
  • If you’re an underrepresented founder thinking about raising your seed round in the next 12 months please reach out to us on hello@balticventures.uk
  • If you are an organisation or individual focused on improving representation in technology please reach out to our Community Manager Becca Harvey on becca@balticventures.uk
  • If you’d like to be an angel in our angel syndicate please contact us on hello@balticventures.uk 
  • If you want to participate in our Baltic Ventures Startup Bootcamp powered by OneTech please reach out to our Community Manager Becca Harvey on becca@balticventures.uk