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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

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.