Intel has just announced a new fund to invest $125 million (over R1.5 billion) over the next five years in tech startups run by minorities and women around the world.

The Diversity Fund, headed up by Intel Capital’s managing director and vice president Lisa Lambert, will cater to US entrepreneurs more or less within the first year and then open up to the rest of the world later on. Minorities in the US who will benefit from the fund include African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans.

Back in January, the multinational corporation’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, announced the Diversity in Technology initiative worth $300 million aimed at improve gender diversity within Intel’s own workforce as well as the US technology industry at large.

“Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology startup workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through its success,”  said Kraznich .

“With this new fund, Intel Capital is committed to investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to cultivate innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public,” Lambert added.

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Lisa Lambert

To qualify for the fund, a startup’s CEO/founder, or at least three members of its senior management team must be a woman or minority (or both).

Four companies have been already been earmarked as the first to receive investment from the fund: Brit + CoCareCloudVenafi and Mark One.

These companies, along with others that will benefit from the fund, will also gain access to Intel Capital’s business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital.

“We hope the Diversity Fund will serve as an example for other startup investors to follow, that it will encourage entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to pursue innovation, and that it will have a meaningful impact on making the startup workforce more reflective of our broader society and economy,” Intel said.