First Close Partners (FCP) has been named the winner of the National Venture Capital Association’s (NVCA) 2024 DEI Impact Award.

The DEI Impact Award recognizes individuals, organizations, or firms that have made significant strides in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the venture ecosystem.

First Close Partners invests in venture capital funds owned and led by underrepresented managers (URMs) across the globe. FCP 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, Founder and Chair of Lowenstein Sandler’s Emerging Companies & Venture Capital practice (fka, The Tech Group), co-founded FCP in 2020 (see Wall Street Journal coverage). He has been a growth company, startup and venture/M&A lawyer for 30 years. Outside of First Close Partners, Zimmerman has personally invested in 100+ VC funds and 150+ startups, predominantly in the US, Europe, and Africa. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of VC at Columbia (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. Zimmerman 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 NCVA empowers the next generation of American companies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. As the voice of the U.S. venture capital and startup community, NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Serving the venture community as the preeminent trade association, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking.

The award will be presented at 2024 NVCA Annual Leadership Gala and Awards Ceremony on May 2nd at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, CA.

About Lowenstein Sandler LLP
Lowenstein Sandler LLP is a national law firm with over 350 lawyers based in New York, Palo Alto, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington, D.C. The firm represents leaders in virtually every sector of the global economy, with particular emphasis on investment funds, life sciences, and technology. Recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit and high standard of client service, the firm is committed to the interests of its clients, colleagues, and communities.