Emerging Manager Spotlight: Mac Conwell of RareBreed Ventures

Talking secret clearance, Twitter, and diamonds in the rough

Theron McCollough
The Startup

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I had the pleasure of meeting Mac through Twitter then over Zoom last October. Over the holidays, I sat down with Mac Conwell to chat about his journey as an emerging manager, launching RareBreed VC, his investment philosophy, and his advice for those who want to follow in his footsteps.

McKeever “Mac” Conwell II is a software engineer by trade and was a former DOD contractor with “top-secret clearance doing a lot of cool stuff I can never talk about.” Mac spoke candidly about the highs and lows of his early career that ultimately led him to VC. He was a two-time founder with an exit and a failure before working for — and ultimately quitting — a marketing firm when they took on a client he didn’t agree with ethically. This rollercoaster, however, steered Mac to the venture capital world via the Maryland Technology Development Corporation as part of their Seed Investment Team.

During his four years there, Mac amassed experience leading an initiative to create the Minority Business Pre-seed Fund, the first and only state-backed pre-seed fund for women and minorities in the country. The program institutionalized the friends and family round for black-, women-, and minority-led startups and was…

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Theron McCollough
The Startup

Managing Director at Citizens Private Bank | VC/Tech; past Managing Director with First Republic,@SVB_Financial. founder, investor, limited partner, and banker