Press Release 11.11.20
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The Daily Docket, a legal affairs newsletter produced by Reuters, recently featured Pillsbury’s year-old pro bono project the Black-Owned Startup Support (BOSS) Labs.
The project arose out of Pillsbury’s Equal Justice Initiative, in which the firm devoted $1 million from its foundation to equal justice causes along with another $10 million worth of volunteer services. BOSS Labs, which is just one of the initiative’s volunteer projects, aims to combat inequities that have resulted in Black founders representing just one percent of venture-backed startups. It also gives the firm’s corporate lawyers a chance to find pro bono opportunities that dovetail with their specialties.
Stacie Yee, a Los Angeles partner who serves as Pillsbury's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, said the firm is currently helping about 30 different startups through the project. While legal advice is helpful, "at the end of the day, they really want capital," she said. So, the firm's lawyers are also focused on connecting founders with potential investors the firm has relationships with.
"There's certainly no guarantee that, as a result of us introducing someone, we're going to be able to get one of our founders financing," she told The Daily Docket. "But perhaps it's a relationship or an introduction they might not have received in the past."