Here are a few rapid-responses from startups

By Victoria Fram & Rob Tashima

A pandemic, by its nature, demands immediate reactions. The exponential growth of a fatal disease like coronavirus means that individual people, households, businesses, and governments all need to move quickly to restrict transmission while also preparing for the longer-term impacts we will experience, and thinking about how we increase our preparedness to better handle these events in the future.

We’re seeing that play out now. Sometimes those reactions take the form of wild market reactions, such as price gouging for hand sanitizer and masks, but more often they look like prudent precautions while we…

From connected health to hydropower plants, our entrepreneurs are building a more inclusive and sustainable future

We recently shared that Village Capital has made 100 investments. Take a look at how some of our first 100+ investments are helping to build the healthy, connected communities of tomorrow.

Wexus Technologies was the 100th company to be selected for investment through the “peer review” process

For the past eight years at Village Capital we’ve been working toward a single goal: how can we get more people solving big global problems through entrepreneurship?

Big problems to us are grounded in the foundations of our society and environment: how we learn and work, how we stay healthy as we age, how we weather financial shocks, how we manage our natural resources and energy use in the face of climate change. …

Protestors at the Women’s March rally this month in San Francisco

Investors need to balance our innate optimism with harsh realities. I’m looking forward to 2018.

It’s easy, everyday, to feel like the world is getting worse. I spent most of 2017 feeling that way. Our president has the lowest approval rating in history. We experienced a record-setting number of natural disasters last year. 82% of the wealth created in 2017 went to 1% of the population. Bad news (and fake news) is inescapable.

And yet.

As investors, we balance two competing default modes: the innate optimism required to believe in the potential and opportunity in lots of things that are statistically likely to fail, and the discipline and cynicism to not follow this optimism blindly…

It continues to be a tumultuous and challenging year. The endless deluge of sexual misconduct allegations, the trauma and personal risk faced by survivors. If you subscribe to the philosophy that things have to get worse before they get better, there’s some solace that maybe, hopefully, we’re reaching the bottom, though it sure feels like we have a long way to go.

There seems to be one glimmer of silver lining: a growing awareness of the inequities and abused power dynamics in so many professional, social, and cultural circles. What’s interesting is how this growing awareness has exposed the “As…

A Day in Prison with Defy Ventures

Christopher Gill / Defy Ventures

Last Thursday, I spent a day at California State Prison Solano with Defy Ventures.

Many eloquent investors have written about the transformative experience they’ve had with this organization (Kara Nortman, Brad Feld, Mark Suster, etc.). I have a great deal of respect for these people, and yet — I tend to be a little skeptical of things that are hyped by other investors. So it isn’t lightly that I say that this experience 100% lived up to and exceeded the hype.

I’ll call out right away that first, there’s something uncomfortable about even calling a day in prison, as a…

Village Capital’s Victoria Fram and Brittney Riley discuss a recent article on the startup gender gap, how to measure a “successful” startup, and the importance of self-awareness.

Victoria Fram (Managing Director, VilCap Investments, LLC): Another week, another post about the Gender Gap in Startup Funding.

Brittney Riley (VP, US Ventures at Village Capital): Yes…still far behind the number of weekly posts about startup unicorns, though. …

To back transformative innovators, early stage investors will need to start innovating ourselves

Two weeks ago, Bloomberg Businessweek published an article about Fin Gourmet, a company that Village Capital, the firm I co-founded, is proud to invest in. Fin Gourmet catches Asian carp, a wildly invasive and environmentally destructive species in the Midwest, processes the fish, and sells it into high-end restaurants, as well as local and national markets and health food stores.

Fin Gourmet stands apart from most companies profiled in the pages of Businessweek for two reasons. First, it’s creating quality jobs in rural Kentucky, an area of the country that isn’t typically heralded for innovation and job growth.

Second, our…

Victoria Fram

Investor @vilcapinvest, Stanford alum (BA, MBA), int’l wanderer, runner, one-time glass blower and aerial fabric enthusiast. And most of all partner and mom.

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