#BehindTheDesigns: Beyond Aesthetics and Embracing Diversity

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#BehindTheDesigns: A beauty and fashion designer turned marketer at a VC

Nikki looks after all of the multimedia creation at Accelerating Asia Ventures and has been one of our longest tenured employees. If you’ve attended one of our Demo Days or seen a presentation by one of our General Partners, then you’re probably very familiar with her work. Those slick data slides and high-energy portfolio highlight videos are all her. Over the past 12 months, we’ve had more positive feedback about our branding, designs and presentation of our Fund information from investors. While most people wouldn’t consider for too long the impact that good design has, this is an issue that many of our portfolio companies and ourselves face. Good design means you become memorable. And in a highly competitive environment, sometimes being memorable is THE most important asset. So we thought we’d shine a little light under the hood.  

First up, what does Nikki think about working as a designer in the VC industry?

Having worked extensively in environments where women dominate, particularly in the fashion and beauty sectors, I became aware of the contrast stepping into the predominantly male-dominated VC space. Men are more likely to represent their company and hold decision-makers positions. Ofcourse, you can say the other way around for the fashion and beauty industry.

In the VC industry, designers tend to adopt a more reserved approach to match the target audience's expectations. While branding is still key, the focus is more on having a credible and professional appearance - track record, success stories, and expertise rather than the emphasis on the aesthetics, visual content, product presentation and diverse product lines.

Taking learnings from different industries

From beauty, fashion and a bit in photography, what I do notice is how embracing diversity drives market growth, innovation, and creativity such as the recognition of different cultures, gender, body shape, and so much more – example:

  1. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna - Known for its wide range of foundation shades, they have set a new standard for inclusivity in the beauty and fashion industry by catering to a diverse spectrum of skin tones. 
  2. Tommy Hilfiger's Adaptive Clothing Line - They launched a line of adaptive clothing designed for people with disabilities, featuring innovative closures and designs that accommodate various needs.
  3. Sony's "Alpha Female" Program - They created this program to support and promote female photographers and filmmakers, providing grants, mentorship, and exposure to help them advance in the industry.

Through these campaigns and lines, they're not just supporting an underrepresented market—they're also tapping into a rich source of new ideas, perspectives, and market opportunities. However, one thing remains consistent across all sectors — it’s still a work in progress.

Investing in the Future

Working as a multimedia designer in industries that swing from heavily female to heavily male-dominated, it’s refreshing to be a part of something in the middle, who balances the equation. At Accelerating Asia Ventures, our fund is actively supporting diverse founders. With 80 companies from Pakistan to Bangladesh to India, and beyond, our women-led & founded startups are at 44% and 46% of our investments are aimed at gender-lens initiatives. Additionally, we’ve also established partner programs specifically for women such as WEScale and UNESCAP The Women in ClimateTech and Sustainability Reverse Accelerator. 

Nikki Torres is a Multimedia Designer at Accelerating Asia Ventures. Outside of this she’s a fashion designer and entrepreneur.


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Accelerating Asia invests in startups with scalable technology solutions and revenue generating business models that combine purpose with profit.


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