Diarra Smith

Head of Ventures

Previously Diarra was Operations Director at Informed Funding, where he worked with finance specialists, entrepreneurs and leading suppliers of UK funding for early-stage businesses. Diarra was also Programme Director for a white-labelled business insight programme that supported an ecosystem of over 3,000 founders and directors. He worked with leading teams from Facebook, McKinsey & Co and Microsoft, to name a few. During his time at Informed Funding, Diarra led the investment and finance support programme for LORCA, a Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) funded cybersecurity accelerator.

Diarra began his career at the social enterprise GuideStar Data Services CIC. GuideStar aggregated data on all charities and social enterprises in the UK. Diarra had a first-hand view of the support needs of the third sector from both the charity and service provider perspectives.

Alongside Year Here, Diarra is a Venture Partner at Ada Ventures, a pre-seed-stage fund investing in overlooked founders and markets. He’s also a scout for Backed VC, a human-centric and community-driven seed-stage venture capital fund. Diarra is a co-London ambassador for RAHM, a global LGBT+ professional leadership network.

Diarra leads the Venture Lab phase of Year Here, our incubator and new Accelerator.