What is Transparent Collective?


Transparent Collective is a non-profit breaking down the barriers that acutely affect the success of minority founders at the early stages of their startups. The Silicon Valley entrepreneurial dream is fraught with challenges when you come from a different racial, ethnic, gender, or location-based background. Most significantly, you lack connections to investors and resources that are more easily accessible to those that grew up in or share similar circumstances. As a result, underrepresented founders struggle to raise venture capital funding, as depicted in the below graphic:

More than 40% of entrepreneurial funding comes from the Bay Area (2).png

Transparent Collective is on a mission to change these dismal statistics. To do so, we focus on tackling 3 areas where we see underrepresented founders encounter the most challenges in building successful technology companies and raising venture funding:


Through our 4 day “Showcase” program and our online workshops, we focus on preparing underrepresented founders for fundraising, helping them thoroughly understand the process, strengthen their pitch mechanics, and improve storytelling around metrics. Each founder is given ample guidance through 1:1 and group mentorship, giving them tactics to succeed when going out to fundraise with investors.


Many investors are seeking a diverse portfolio, but may not have the personal network connections to find high caliber minority founders. Transparent Collective provides investors with high-qualified deal flow, thoroughly vetting our founders to ensure they have strong performance indicators of future success.

3. Contributing to the development of an ecosystem where minority entrepreneurs can flourisH.

We aren’t a competition or “Shark Tank” type of environment. Our collective is a network of seasoned founders, investors, and mentors paying it forward and helping the next batch of remarkable founders. We don’t take any money or equity from our founders - we’re here simply to see them succeed.

Share our mission?

TC Founders

James Norman

Co-Founder @Pilotly. Founded Ubi Video, Shift Marketing, F1RST Motoring Apparel, and now Pilotly. Written over 250k lines of code to change TV forever. EECS BS @University of Michigan.


Rohini Pandhi

Product @Square. Previously product @PubNub, @Rackspace, @Nodeable. Computer Engineering @University of Michigan, MBA @University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business.

Clayton Bryan

Partner @500Startups. Product enthusiast & customer development advocate. Former @Dorm Room Fund @Yahoo. Educated @Cal-berkeley @NYU.


Adrian Walker

Partner @Telescopic Ventures. Co-founder and managing partner at Telescopic Ventures, executive at various tech startups. BSE in Industrial Engineering @University of Michigan.

TC Team



Program Director
@Transparent Collective