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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

10 early-stage companies led by Asian women have been selected for an accelerator program from Gold House, a nonprofit aimed at improving representation and achieving cultural equity.

Why it matters: People of Asian descent have faced systemic bias in the U.S. for generations and during the past year have been disproportionately impacted by "twin crises" of the pandemic — women especially.

  • Americans of Asian descent have experienced a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, including the fatal shooting of six women in Georgia, as well as prolonged periods of unemployment compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
  • A study cited in the Harvard Business Review found that Americans of Asian descent are not generally considered an underrepresented minority in the workforce, so they are often left out of diversity initiatives.
  • The same study found that among white-collar workers, people of Asian descent are the least likely group to be promoted into management.

Enter Gold House: The nonprofit was formed in 2018 by a group of Asian and Pacific Islander leaders in media, entertainment and business. A year later, the group launched its 12-week "Gold Rush" accelerator programs to help Asian founders break the "bamboo ceiling."

  • Startups and small businesses led by API apply to the programs, which connect chosen companies to mentors and advisors, such as Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and beauty brand Tatcha founder and CEO Vicky Tsai, venture capitalists, and alumni from past programs.
  • Selected companies also receive marketing and PR support through Gold House's networks.

Consumer, tech and media companies make up this round of 15 participants, 10 of which are women-led. Among those:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Kevin Lin's name.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for all private companies.

Why it matters: De Blasio, speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said the "first-in-the-nation measure" will go into effect starting Dec. 27. It will apply to approximately 184,000 businesses.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

5 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.