First Close Partners (FCP), a venture capital fund of funds co-founded by Lowenstein Sandler partner Ed Zimmerman, has been recognized on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Capitalism Power100 List ("DEIC Power100"). The DEIC Power100 is a first-of-its-kind list that recognizes individuals and firms in alternative asset management that are delivering exemplary investment results, demonstrating industry leadership, and contributing positively to closing gender, wealth, health, education, and other social and economic equity gaps that provide alpha opportunities while simultaneously moving the industry in the direction of inclusive capitalism. The DEIC 100 awards are being presented in Los Angeles on May 6 by Blueprint Capital Advisors LLC, a $1.7 billion registered investment advisor focused on alternative investment funds and diverse manager consulting.

FCP was named in the “Allocators & Advisors” category recognizing “those who place faith in, support, and make investments with diverse asset managers as part of their normal process of reviewing actional investment ideas or through separate programs specifically designed to source diverse managers.”

FCP is a fund of funds investing in venture capital funds owned and led by underrepresented managers (URMs) across the globe. This includes people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and members of other groups that have been historically underrepresented, especially (but not solely) in the venture capital industry. The firm is committed to investment in ecosystem-building with underrepresented founders and manager communities. First Close Partners has completed more than 100 investments in these URM-led venture capital funds around the world. FCP’s founding team had, prior to starting FCP, invested in more than 400 funds on four continents. FCP was cofounded in 2020 (see Wall Street Journal coverage), is currently investing the firm’s second fund, and has a portfolio of funds ranging from emerging managers to seasoned, Midas-Listed investors.

Ed Zimmerman, Chair of Lowenstein Sandler’s Emerging Companies & Venture Capital practice (fka, The Tech Group), co-founded FCP with Betsy Zimmerman, Carolina Huaranca Mendoza, Theresia Gouw (Acrew), Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital), Former US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (who is also a MacArthur Genius), PJ Parson (Northzone in Stockholm), and Annika Sten-Parson (Inner Foundation).

Ed has been a growth company, startup, and venture/M&A lawyer for 30 years. Ed has served as an Adjunct Professor of VC at Columbia for 18 years (since 2005), on The Wall Street Journal’s Panel of Experts (80 columns published), cofounder/Chair of VentureCrush (since March 2000), Interim Chair of the Board of Center for Policing Equity, and a Board member at Fisk University (an HBCU in Nashville, TN), Black Women Talk TechThe Orchid Foundation, and, previously, Harvey Mudd College. Ed also serves on the boards and/or LPACs of several venture capital funds (all of which have impact as part of their mandate), including 2050 (Paris), The Historic Fund, and Ingressive Capital (Lagos, Nigeria), and as an advisory board member of Ada Ventures (UK).

The DEIC Power100 will be honored at an event in May 2024 in Los Angeles ahead of the 2024 Milken Institute Global Conference.