Black Lives Matter

Racial Equality & Human Rights

Scott Lenet
Jun 11, 2020 · 3 min read
Image: Ahmed H. Moustafa for Shutterstock

During the past few weeks, we have been reaching out to our friends in the black community to listen, engage, and understand how to start the process of being supportive.

Although we concede that we are not experts on racial equality, we do not believe there is a middle ground on this issue. Racism and human rights abuses are wrong, and we do not think it requires courage to say so. Our challenge is what to do next, so that these are not empty words, but the beginning of sustained action that leads to a more inclusive future.

Seeing our country so divided has made us sad, angry, jaded, and ultimately, motivated to do something constructive. Overwhelmed by the severity and enormity of this problem, we are drawing on some of our company’s core values, including:

  • empathy — for those who are suffering
  • beginner mentality — recognizing that systemic racism is a problem that dwarfs any individual or company and knowing we must educate ourselves first
  • accountability — taking responsibility to contribute to solutions in a sustained manner
  • impact — recognizing that effort is not enough, but that we must make a meaningful difference

Last week, we convened our entire company and committed ourselves to focus on contributing responsibly to address racial inequality in America. While systemic racism has existed in our country since its founding and seems like an insurmountable problem, we are hopeful because we recognize the dedication of our team and the power of our extended network, including you.

We are not just a team of 36 people, we are part of a broader pool of thousands of influential investors and hundreds of thousands of employees at world leading corporations. If a fraction of our friends and colleagues cooperate, there is potential for a sustained response. If we learn and plan effectively, the response can contribute to progress.

We have no tolerance for racism, nor for race-related human rights abuses. As we educate ourselves, please expect that we will be reaching out to ask for your help so that we can all make a difference together.

So, what can you expect from Touchdown Ventures on progressing racial equality? You can count on us to listen and learn first. Then, consistent with our culture, you can expect us to think, plan, act, and hold ourselves accountable. Our goal: long-term, sustainable change that transcends statements of support, and manifests itself in the push towards racial equality.

This post was written together with Touchdown Ventures Principal Alex Nwaka.

Scott Lenet is President of Touchdown Ventures, a Registered Investment Adviser that provides “Venture Capital as a Service” to help corporations launch and manage their investment programs.

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Scott Lenet

Written by

Venture capitalist founder of Touchdown Ventures & DFJ Frontier, USC & UCLA adjunct professor, father of twins, Philly sports Phan, Forbes contributor

Risky Business

Thoughts on corporate VC from the team at Touchdown Ventures, the leading provider of managed venture capital for corporations.