CHARLOTTE – A southeastern venture conference traditionally held in Atlanta is broadening their presenter recruitment efforts, launching a workshop series that will be held in cities across the region, including ones in Raleigh and Charlotte.

Venture Atlanta says in a statement that in order for greater diversity to be reflected on the event’s presentation stage, it believed it needed to widen the applicant pool, receiving applications from a more diverse set of founders.

Women and founders of color were 38% of the presenters in the organization’s 2020 conference.

Black founders receive less than one percent of all venture capital funding, and women founders receive less than 3% of all venture capital funding.

The organization will lead virtual workshops with the theme “creating momentum,” and is also considering whether to host in-person events, should local ordinances allow, throughout the next few months, including one held for Raleigh and Charlotte, and every attendee of the workshops will receive a virtual ticket to the conference, occurring October 20-21.

Applications to present are due on August 6, however, so the workshops will be held prior to that application deadline.

“Those attending can expect hands-on, informative workshops that can be beneficial in gaining the spotlight at Venture Atlanta,” said Joey Womack, founder and CEO of Goodie Nation and a member of the Venture Atlanta Board of Directors and Diversity & Inclusivity Committee. “In service to Venture Atlanta’s founding mission, we also believe these workshops will help to foster connections within our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem for our diverse founders,”

“We want to extend the dialog toward greater inclusivity and ensure that all deserving innovators have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential,” noted Womack.

Prior companies to present at the event include Car360, Clearleap, Cloud Sherpas, Florence, Kabbage, ParkMobile, Pindrop, SalesLoft, and Terminus, according to the organization.