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September 01, 2022 | Tom Ballard

New Black-led VC firm opens in Arkansas but with a focus on the heartland

High Street Equity Partners, Arkansas’ first and only Black-led venture capital firm, has announced its inaugural fund of $15 million to be invested in tech-driven companies run by female and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs. While the fund is based in Arkansas, its focus is on early stage companies in the heartland.

“The mission of High Street is to create value with more than capital,” High Street General Partner Tristan Wilkerson said. “Historic High Street was the center culture and marketplace in the state’s largest city before it was renamed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in honor of the iconic civil rights leader. The company name is a homage to the vision and goal of the firm to invest in bringing the everyday economy into the 21st century – creating space and place for people to live, work, and thrive.”

On the firm’s website, it lists four criteria for investments:

  • A post-revenue tech-enabled venture;
  • A high-quality management team;
  • Ability of the firm to add value to the start-up; and
  • An investment realization horizon of five years.

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