Freada Kapor Klein, Ph.D.
Freada Kapor Klein is an entrepreneur, activist, and pioneer in the field of organizational culture and diversity.
As a Founding Partner at Kapor Capital, Freada invests in seed-stage tech startups that create positive social impact by closing gaps of access, opportunity, or outcome for low-income communities and communities of color. The companies solve actual problems, aspiring to simultaneously generate economic value and positive social impact. Often the founders are drawing on their lived experiences to create businesses that address real needs.
She is the founder of SMASH, now in its 20th year, which provides rigorous STEM education and access to social capital for low-income high school students of color on 10 university campuses across the country.
Freada’s initial job in tech was as the first head of Employee Relations, Organizational Development, and Management Training at Lotus Development Corporation. Her job description was to make Lotus the “most progressive employer in the U.S.” Lotus 1-2-3 is widely recognized as the “killer app” that made the personal computer ubiquitous in business.
In 1976, she co-founded the Alliance Against Sexual Coercion, the first organization in the U.S. to address sexual harassment. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy and Research from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University; and has conducted numerous large survey projects on perceptions and experiences of bias, harassment, and disrespectful treatment in workplaces.
Freada is a member of the Obama Foundation Tech Policy Council, the U.C. Berkeley Board of Visitors, and the council that formed the Hollywood Commission chaired by Anita Hill. She serves on the advisory boards of Twilio.org, Generation Investment Management, and Trident; and is a board observer at Aclima.io, a tech startup focusing on hyperlocal air quality monitoring.
Freada and her husband, Mitch Kapor, are co-authors of the book Closing the Equity Gap (March 14, 2023), which details how to create wealth while simultaneously addressing the inequalities in startup investing. She is also the author of Giving Notice, which details the human and financial cost of hidden bias in the workplace.
Mitch is a pioneer of the personal computing industry and long-time startup investor. He founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s.
He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet, and served as the founding chair of Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser.
His successful early investments in the Internet sector, streaming media, and virtual reality earned him a reputation for seeing around corners.
For over a decade at Kapor Capital, Mitch and his wife, Dr. Freada Kapor Klein, have developed a vision and practice of investing in tech startups which close gaps of access, opportunity, and outcome for low-income communities and communities of color, and in founders from underrepresented groups.
Through the work of the Kapor Center, Mitch and Freada take a comprehensive approach to removing barriers for all in education and the workplace, fixing the leaks at every stage of the tech pipeline. Mitch serves on the board of SMASH, a non-profit founded by Freada to help underrepresented students hone their STEM knowledge, while building the networks and skills for careers in tech and the sciences.
Mitch and Freada are co-authors of the book Closing the Equity Gap (March 14, 2023), which details how to create wealth while simultaneously addressing the inequalities in startup investing.
“Genius,” Mitch likes to say, “is evenly distributed by zip code, but opportunity is not.”