An Economic Vehicle With a Societal Mandate, Screendoor Backs Emerging Managers from Underrepresented Groups
My hope for Screendoor is clear, if not simple: we’re going to be the largest, and most impactful, investor in emerging managers. Our strategy for accomplishing this is to focus on new firms led primarily by underrepresented VCs, back them meaningfully, and support them via a community of peers, advisors, and institutional LPs.
When 10 of us founded Screendoor in 2021 this was the plan. Almost two years later we’ve backed 11 managers with over $40 million of commitments, reviewed applications from 500+ funds, and, most recently hired our first Managing Director to help lead Screendoor into its future. Lisa Cawley joins us from the LP side of the table, already having experience evaluating and investing in emerging managers as well as a broad set of venture models. In her own words:
Screendoor’s role as an LP of GPs is the needed connection between underrepresented emerging managers and the institutional investment community, with our GP advisors who have ‘been there, done that’ recognizing what it takes to build a firm in the absence of a long track record. I’ve never had more conviction that investing in first-time funds led by underrepresented emerging managers isn’t just a societal impact initiative. In today’s vast venture capital landscape, it’s ALPHA!
It’s not enough to change team compositions with a few new hires or add supplemental pools of capital (all of which are still important and necessary efforts to continue). We need targeted action that accelerates the impact of these collective endeavors. I’m elated to now fully focus my time and effort to lead Screendoor to capture this incredible economic opportunity for our phenomenal LPs and the communities they serve, act as a source of catalytic capital and counsel to the next generation of leading fund managers across all backgrounds, and change the face(s) of venture capital!
We’re proud and thrilled that Lisa saw Screendoor as a platform at the intersection of incredible financial opportunity and industry evolution. The idea that these two goals are potentially incompatible is a relic of the past. We intend, with a coalition of the likeminded, to be the future. Onward!
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