Tiana Tukes: Meet The Woman Bridging the Gap in Venture Capital Representation As A Spelman College Educator!

by Gee NY
Tiana Tukes. Credit: @tiananaomitukes on Instagram

Tiana Tukes is leading the charge for increased Black representation in venture capital (VC) as she takes on a dual role as an investor and educator.

With a mission to empower the next generation, Tukes is making waves in both spheres.

As the co-founder of LGBT+ VC, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting college students interested in VC, Tukes has been instrumental in providing opportunities for youth to explore careers in finance, philanthropy, law, and technology.

Under her leadership, LGBT+ VC established programs like a college fellowship and employment initiatives aimed at exposing marginalized students to diverse career paths.

Now, Tukes has transitioned to a new role as a lecturer at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Here, she teaches a course on Black entrepreneurship, covering topics such as unit economics and establishing Black-owned VC businesses.

Through her teaching, Tukes aims to address the stark underrepresentation of Black individuals in the VC sector, where only 4% of the overall workforce are Black, according to industry data.

With a deep commitment to paying it forward, Tukes leverages her own experiences to mentor and guide students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. She sees her tenure at Spelman College as a “homecoming,” drawing from her HBCU ties as a Morehouse College alumna.

Tukes also holds the distinction of being the first openly Black trans woman to teach entrepreneurship at Spelman College, further emphasizing her dedication to diversity and inclusion.

Despite the challenges, Tukes remains hopeful and inspired by her students’ aspirations. She believes that VC can serve as a tool to accelerate business growth and impact, especially for Black founders.

Through her work, Tiana Tukes is not only breaking barriers but also paving the way for a more inclusive future in venture capital and beyond.

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