SEATTLE, WA – February 10, 2022— City University of Seattle Board of Trustees has elected Kim Folsom as the new chairperson for the Board of Trustees of City University of Seattle. This appointment of Kim Folsom is a historic first for City University, as the First Black Woman Chairperson of the Board of Directors.
“Ms. Folsom’s commitment to supporting underserved and underrepresented communities is very much aligned with the mission of City University of Seattle – whether through our Academy of Rising Educators partnership with Seattle Public Schools, our partnerships with indigenous communities in Washington and Western Canada, or our deep dedication to creating an inclusive culture – we have a longstanding belief that the opportunity to learn should be open to anyone with the desire to achieve,” said Christopher Bryan, CPA, Interim President of City University of Seattle.
Ms. Folsom is the founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, Inc, (FFCP) a revenue-based investment and advisory support investment platform. FFCP is the largest private provider of growth funding for service-based businesses and the only Black and women-led, revenue-based venture platform with $100M in committed capital.
Ms. Folsom is also the founder of Founders First CDC, a not-for-profit, community development organization and micro-small business accelerator. With a mission to help underserved and underrepresented small business owners overcome the challenges they face due to a lack of access to capital and human capital business growth expertise, Founders First CDC assists business owners by increasing business capacity, resulting in higher revenue growth and providing more premium wage jobs. Since its founding in 2015, the firm has provided funding and growth support to approximately 500 member companies.
“Serving as a champion for inclusion, equity, diversity, and social justice, Ms. Folsom is a pillar of the community and affects a significant positive impact on underrepresented individuals and communities,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System, a network of nonprofit institutions that includes CityU. “City University of Seattle is fortunate to have Ms. Folsom’s expert leadership and counsel as the University continues to grow and positively impact the lives of students, their families, and their communities.”
As a social entrepreneur, Ms. Folsom is dedicated to leveraging the power of market forces and sound business practices to address disparities in revenue and job growth among businesses led by underrepresented founders. Prior to Founders First, she raised more than $150 million in institutional committed venture financing, created over 500 premium wage jobs, and founded or served as a key executive for six successful ventures, including showUhow (acquired by Sellpoints), DriveCam (now Lytx), and Seminarsource. Before devoting her energies to entrepreneurship, Ms. Folsom was an executive at National Dispatch Center, Luce Forward and Alltel Systematics and Great American First.
Ms. Folsom has served on the boards of Consumer Technology Association, National University System, California Southern FDC, and Right to Start. She earned her MBA degree from Pepperdine University and her bachelor’s degree in Information Systems with a minor in Economics from San Diego State University.
About City University of Seattle:
Since 1973, City University of Seattle has been reimagining higher education in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. As an accredited, private, nonprofit university, our mission is to provide career-relevant education to busy professionals who want to advance their careers and compete in the global marketplace.
City University has an alumni population of more than 60,000 graduates from around the globe, representing myriad countries and cultures. It offers over 60 degree and certificate programs in business, leadership, education, project management, health and human services, and computer and information systems. Whether students study on-site or online, they learn from practitioner faculty and network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies. For more information, visit CityU.edu.