Frederik Groce knows what it is like to struggle. As a child, he grew up living in motels because of his parents’ financial hardships. They were constantly on the move in search of better opportunities, a fact that landed him in three high schools in four years. Now an associate at Silicon Valley’s Storm Ventures, Groce, ’14, MA ’15, is on a mission to help other African-Americans navigate the venture capital industry — a world in which minorities are vastly underrepresented.
To that end, Groce has co-founded a group in which black venture capitalists can support each other and guide aspiring students into the industry. “We’re still in the early stages of building the community. The goal has fundamentally been about how do we discover who else is out there that looks like us? How do we build a space that we can have conversations? How do we find mentors?”
Tentatively named BLCKVC, the group has already hosted networking events in Silicon Valley and is working with similar entities to plan future gatherings. A handful of BLCKVC members, including Groce, are spearheading a formal launch of the organization and hope to eventually branch out to New York and Los Angeles. “We all want to make sure we pay it forward.”
Before joining Storm Ventures, Groce was chief executive officer of Stanford Student Enterprises. Groce also serves on the board of the Stanford Black Alumni Association of Northern California and as a mentor for the East Bay College Fund.