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Comcast Promises $20 Million Minority Venture Fund As Part Of NBCU Merger

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As part of its lobbying efforts to get approval — and acceptance — for its pending merger with NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) promised U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush in writing today that it will establish a $20 million venture capital fund for minority entrepreneurs to develop “new media content and applications” when the deal closes. The new fund would be part of Comcast Interactive Capital. According to a letter to Rush, timed for today’s congressional hearing in Chicago about the merger, the fund would “facilitate early stage financing of minority businesses.”

Comcast EVP David Cohen told Rush in the letter released by the company that there would be more details about the fund in the fall. The focus of the Chicago field hearing for the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet is “Comcast and NBC Universal: Who Benefits?”

Cohen’s letter also lists ways Comcast promises to expand on its previous diversity pledges, especially when it comes to African-Americans, including at least four of its planned minimum 10 new indie linear digital networks will be majority owned by African-Americans.

2 Responses to “Comcast Promises $20 Million Minority Venture Fund As Part Of NBCU Merger”

  1. Stephan Adams

    It is insulting that Comcast is predicating their fund on the contingency of their deal closing. The seriousness of this fund is questionable at best and a halfhearted PR gesture, given the token amount and caveats. Twenty million dollars will only help 6 to 10 firms across the country in first round funding if they take a traditional VC approach. This does not account for follow-on investments, which is usually required to truly get a start-up over the finish line. This non-binding commitment to buy regulatory to pass their $30 billion merger is shameless. A true commitment to establishing a minority venture capital focused fund would be to invest $100 million now (to show community commitment) and to articulate the fund parameters. A VC fund similar to the $200 million iFund that targets minority entrepreneurs could be both profitable and satisfying to government regulators.

  2. This news is sad and pathetic. So this is what it takes for African-Americans to get any access to Venture Capital funding? Congressional intervention?

    The sad part is tech media writers pretend this isn’t a problem.