Canaan exists to find and support transformational ideas. That requires seeking out new ideas and backgrounds. Simply put, the same ideas from the same people aren’t as lucrative. That’s why last year Canaan named me the firm’s Manager of Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion. As we strive for more diverse technology and healthcare industries, Canaan is pursuing several new initiatives.
The first is an effort to support these issues among companies we fund. We’re pleased to report that many of Canaan’s portfolio companies have implemented diversity and inclusion into their ethos - creating more hires within leadership and decision-making roles to become more diverse and inclusive for all. This aligns with Canaan’s long-standing values, and I am expanding our efforts beyond our own walls to our portfolio companies to support this shared mission.
To support this work, we are thrilled to be kicking off our Inaugural Summer Internship program in 2021, called “Canaan’s Career Collective”, to help our portfolio companies identify and hire underrepresented individuals to their teams and make the financial investments required to achieve the same. To help augment existing efforts, Canaan partnered with Prep for Prep and Seeking Every Opportunity, two leading organizations that support underrepresented students’ academic and personal growth from elementary school through college.
To support this initiative, Canaan is matching financial investments being made by portfolio companies that hire underrepresented individuals for Summer Internships in 2021. To streamline the matching and hiring process, we’ve created a career portal where portfolio companies and candidates can seamlessly find each other. The results have been exciting, and many positions have already been filled in our participating technology and healthcare companies. Roles are both in-person and remote, from the East to West coasts, and spanning marketing, accounting, and pre-clinical lab work. Our hope is that many of the roles will turn into full-time hires at the end of the summer.
There is so much to look forward to in the coming year and I am excited to keep you updated on Canaan’s DEI journey!