Happy 2024! As we kick off our sixth year of investing to close equity gaps in America, we wanted to reflect on the many wins our portfolio companies and team celebrated in 2023. Here’s just a sampling of the great work being done.
Several of our founders shared their knowledge and wisdom with the world via TEDTalks, with Donnel Baird of BlocPower highlighting the need for ditching fossil fueled appliances and Newsha Ghaeli of Biobot discussing the quality of life improvements that can come from the emerging field of wastewater tech.
Others, such as Dama Dipayana of Manatee, shared with the audience at HLTH the hustle and personal struggles experienced by startup founders while Jake Keteyian of Vincere Health was invited to President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative in Washington, D.C.
Many of our companies continue to be publicly recognized for their efforts. TIME Magazine named Bark’s smartphone as one of the best inventions of 2023. Paladin scaled their pro bono work through a newly announced partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice. Babbly published the results of their independent study on their AI algorithm that is revolutionizing the field of infant development with its ability to accurately identify infant babbling patterns.
Our founders and their teams also continue to push for equality across the board, growing their educational and government service platforms in places like Birmingham, AL (KaiXR), Milwaukee, WI (Beam, formerly Edquity), and Newton, PA (EnGen).
Internal to our team, we presented at several conferences, including HLTH and Money2020, and sponsored networking opportunities for our fellow investors and startups at ASU-GSV, Climate Week NYC, and more intimate events throughout the year. We also had the pleasure of joining the ranks of Impact Capital Managers, allowing our team to join a growing list of worldclass funds creating financial return and meaningful social impact.
For the second year in a row, we also shared out our fund’s impact metrics, highlighting that our portfolio companies collectively served 7.6 million people in 2022 while having meaningful and positive effects on climate, educational systems, workforce skill development, and individual and family support services. And we again welcomed our startup founders to our second annual Founder Summit in Denver, CO.
Of course, focusing on positive news from the last year does not negate that 2023 was still challenging for many individuals and startups. The markets remained volatile, and the funding landscape has been tough. Difficult decisions have been made as each of us has weathered these storms. We are grateful for our partnership with our portfolio companies, fellow investors, business partners, and vendors who have navigated these roads together. Even when we do not all reach the destinations we were aiming for, we are nevertheless thankful for having taken the journey with you.
As we look to 2024, we are energized by the exciting possibilities before us and eager to continue partnering with old and new faces alike. Together, we can all continue to create amazing impact in the world around us!