From left, Mara Zepeda, Aniyia Williams, Astrid Scholz and Jennifer Brandel of Zebras Unite. The group encourages a more ethical industry with greater gender and racial diversity.
On a sunny Saturday morning in New York a few months ago, a group of 50 start-up founders gathered in the dank basement of a Lower East Side bar. They scribbled notes at long tables, sipping coffee and LaCroix while a stack of pizza boxes emanated the odor of hot garlic. One by one, they gave testimonials taking aim at something nearly sacred in the technology industry: venture capital.