Becoming an entrepreneur: what diverse founders need to know

Beatriz Acevedo knows the venture capital industry doesn’t offer equal opportunities to all. Yet, she's raised over $50 million for her own companies, and wants to empower more diverse startup founders to do the same.

A headshot of Beatriz Acevedo in front of a gray background.
A headshot of Beatriz Acevedo in front of a gray background.

We recently launched Intuit Ventures to invest in high-growth startups that are mission-aligned with our business and usher in exciting waves of innovation. Our investments represent opportunities to power prosperity and improve the financial lives of individuals and small businesses.

And yet, the venture capital industry doesn’t offer equal opportunities to all. Female founders raised just 1.9% of total VC funds raised in 2022 (a drop from 2.4% in 2021). Black founders raised only 1% of total VC funds in 2022. Latino founders saw more than an 80% drop in funding in Q3 2022. And it’s not just diverse founders who are massively underrepresented; early startup employees, investors, and Limited Partners (LPs) often lack diverse representation too. A successful startup exit at the end of the day represents life-changing wealth to founders, investors, and the startup’s early employees. At Intuit, we believe representation is a key step in creating an inclusive and equitable environment where all employees can do the best work of their lives. 

Intuit recently hosted Beatriz Acevedo, a trail-blazing 2x founder and social advocate for Latino representation, as our keynote speaker during our International Women’s Day celebration. In a candid, genuine, and inspiring fireside chat with Intuit’s Chief DEI Officer Humera Shahid, Acevedo shared her path to becoming a founder and words of wisdom for raising venture capital funding. Her talk taught us powerful lessons and helped us reflect on how Intuit Ventures can be a part of the solution to venture capital’s diversity problem. We’re proud to share that as a part of our diligence process we look critically at a startup’s internal gender and racial diversity at the leadership level to make sure it’s aligned with Intuit’s broader commitment to DEI

In Acevedo’s words, “you become an entrepreneur through choice or necessity” and for Acevedo, the path to entrepreneurship was through necessity in her early 20s. She founded mitú, the Latino-focused media company that merged Acevedo’s passion for Latino representation and media. After selling mitú to Latido Networks in 2020, she founded SUMA Wealth, a fintech platform dedicated to improving the financial lives of Latinos. 

Through her entrepreneurial journey, Acevedo has raised more than $50 million in funding and shared some learnings from her fundraising journey with us:

  1. It’s not just about the money: while fundraising, be careful about how much equity you’re giving away. While it may not seem like a big issue right now, it’ll become important later in your founder journey.
  2. Diversify your cap table: think about who you bring along on your journey, who you let on your board, and who you build wealth for through your entrepreneurial journey. Today, we see a lot of funds led by women and people of color – make sure you’re including them in your fundraising journey.
  3. Your mentality is key: rejections are a given, but you still have to try. Proactively preparing mentally for these rejections will set you up for success. 

For women founders specifically, Acevedo shared how important it is to trust yourself and your gut. Acevedo encouraged women to take up space, be their authentic selves, and remind themselves that they deserve to be at the table. Being a working woman, and a working woman founder, is a constant and difficult balance of trade-offs at work, home, and beyond. Acevedo encouraged women to take care of themselves and not put themselves at the bottom of their to-do list. Lastly, Acevedo called out how few women and women of color exist in circles of privilege. When you make it – bring other women along with you and set them up for success.

It’s incredibly important to hear from leaders like Acevedo who don’t fit your typical Silicon Valley founder mold. Her journey and perspectives show us that success is possible regardless of where you come from or what you look like.

While access to capital isn’t equal, intentionality in who you let on your board and who you decide to partner with are necessary to be successful. Your investors are long-term partners, so it’s important to know they’re on your team and will support, push, and help you. 

At Intuit Ventures, we strive to be strategic and value-add partners who bring more than just an investment. We’re a values-aligned team who believes that diversity powers better results and are always excited to hear from diverse founders within our thesis areas. If you are a company building in one of our focus areas (more information here) and want to discuss an investment by Intuit Ventures, please submit information about your company and funding round here or get in touch at