50 percent of the U.S. population is women, but only 8 percent of VC-backed startup founders are women.

13 percent of the U.S. population is black, but only 2 percent of VC-backed startup founders are black.

17 percent of the U.S. population is Latinx, but only 1 percent of VC-backed startup founders are Latinx.

You don’t have to be a mathematician to quickly realize that there is a massive gap between who lives in America and who gets funded in America.

In order to understand why this gap exists, you must understand how venture capital works and how investors make decisions.

There are three key questions that drive many investor decisions:

1. Does this business match my blueprint of what I think a great business is?

2. Does this founder match my blueprint of what I think a great founder is?

3. Is this founder being referred by someone I consider credible?

Basically, how “attractive” your startup is to investors often times depends on how well you and your startup match investors' pre-existing beliefs, and what other people have already given you the thumbs up.

So what’s on these investor blueprints? What type of referrals matter to them? How can I position myself and my business to get funded? These are the exact questions that Founder Gym can help you answer. As the first online training center specifically designed to help underrepresented founders build successful tech startups, Founder Gym has created a path to success where previously none existed. Over the course of four weeks, a cohort of selected founders will get trained on a specific startup topic. The first cohort is focused on the “Fundraising Basics,” and beginning January 8, admitted founders will learn how to better position themselves and their businesses to get investors to say, “Yes, I’m in!”

Founder Gym is 100 percent virtual, so no matter where you are, you can benefit from the opportunity to learn from experienced Silicon Valley investors and venture-backed startup founders, such as Mitch Kapor, Charles Hudson and Ellen Pao. At Founder Gym, we believe founders learn best when they are learning directly from active practitioners in the field, who have real-world experience investing in and/or raising millions of dollars for tech startups, and we are excited to offer this unique experience to foster the next generation of successful founders.

Applications for Founder Gym Cohort 1: Fundraising Basics close on Thursday, November 30th, so if you or someone you know is interested, apply here. Founder Gym launches new cohorts every few months that cover the most important areas of startup success, including hiring technical talent, finding product market fit and budgeting and forecasting.