Perhaps the most powerful element of entrepreneurship is the ability to put together a pitch deck and incorporation papers—and immediately own 100% of something new. The rewards to a successful founding team can be orders of magnitude greater than those offered to the next few people on the payroll. While this norm is often justified as being commensurate with risk, more founders should see their equity as a generative opportunity to bless others who have labored with or will join the founding team, as well as those inside and outside the venture whose communities have been historically excluded from such opportunity.
We're interested in ventures that—often from their founding—have a different vision for their cap tables. Such a generous rethinking of ownership could deescalate some of the larger tensions in our society today, from class inequality to entrenched racial conflict.
We see particular opportunities to use new models and old alike, from co-ops and ESOPs to DAFs, DAOs and NFTs; and believe there is opportunity for “traditioned innovation,” reclaiming patterns and structures from the past and taking advantage of new technology’s ability to simplify them and increase their scale. For example, worker- or consumer-driven co-ops (earlier examples of which include the industrial collectives of Mondragon, Spain, and grocery and health care co-operatives) have the potential to check and balance power, ownership, and outcomes.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.