First of all, thanks for the personal touch and openness. This is something we are constantly thinking about at our firm as well and how to best support our internal team and our portfolio CEOs for success in both work and family life. I'd love to see or hear about any good information that you've found or discovered since writing this. Keep fighting the good fight!

It is our responsibility to make everyday economic choices that drive impact… and save the planet.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The sustainability and impact focus we saw become mainstream in 2020 has fortunately carried over to 2021. As a nation, we have a president who seems prepared to take the battle against climate change seriously, and we are actively engaged in confronting historically ingrained social and systemic inequalities. We have a long way to go on both of those fronts, but since public and consumer sentiment is increasingly more impact-oriented, businesses are finally taking ownership. Now it’s on us, the consumers, to put our money where our mouth is.

Is it awesome to have a variety of impact-oriented choices —…

In an extension of focusing on the wellbeing of people, it is just as important to focus on the wellbeing of our planet and our global economy and supply chain from a sustainability and impact perspective.

Let’s build companies and ecosystems intentionally and inclusively

How r/wallstreetbets created the opportunity of a lifetime for startups and VCs

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Financial outcomes aside, numerous takes on the r/wallstreetbets x Robinhood showdown over GameStop — from the David and Goliath face-off of retail investors versus Wall Street, to the hypocrisy presented by Robinhood’s name, to the rare bipartisan condemnation of the trading app’s actions. I published my last piece, the Democratization of Financial Markets, right before Robinhood and other brokerages shut down trading. My message now is more important than ever.

Powerful forces are trying to hinder the rise of the retail investor, but the cat’s out of the bag, and she’s staying out.

We are living in a new era…

Driven by an unprecedented amount of accessibility.

Photo by Lloyd Blunk on Unsplash

Reading Fred Wilson’s blog post, The Revenge of Retail, this morning inspired me to get these thoughts down on paper.

First, a point for clarity. Markets are ruthless and it is likely a lot of retail traders are going to lose their asses treating the markets like a casino. Underneath that, though, is the rise of something I’ve been waiting to see for a very long time: a new power dynamic born out of a generational shift and technology’s ability to drive democratization and accessibility of information, data, and financial markets and tools. …

Emerging tech meets ESG

Image via

Two of my recent posts discuss the tailwinds in ESG and that transparency is the key to it all. Still, one critical question keeps me up at night: How do we ensure that the transition to a more sustainable future actually delivers on the social and environmental mandates it promises?

As a VC investor passionate about driving impact, I decided to highlight one of our portfolio companies working to answer this exact question.

If you’re a startup, I hope you can use this case study as a guiding framework. I’d also love to hear from you! …

Democracy is fragile. “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman is our call to action.

Photo via Associated Press

Someone asked me why I cared so much about watching the entirety of the inauguration ceremonies. I didn’t know how to respond at first — Now I do.

For the first time in the past four years, especially over the last two months, and in particular during the last two weeks, I realized that our democracy is fragile. I can’t speak for my whole generation (because of my privilege) but maybe, just maybe, this is our wake-up call.

The rhetoric of unity instead of hate…

And a mega-market opportunity for tech startups.

Written & researched in collaboration with Gabi Skoff.

Photo by Marc Schulte on Unsplash

My post last week discussed some of the recent forces driving ESG into the mainstream. This transformation is no shallow trend; it reaches deep into the heart of the financial services sector, with significant backing on an institutional level. The ESG revolution has arrived. But while behavioral changes and leadership support are fundamental to creating systemic changes, a sustainable transformation with holding power cannot be supported without the proper tools. And in this new normal of ESG integration, transparency will be key.

Gaps and Risks to Sustainable Change

While data supporting the ESG revolution abounds, the gaps in data…

A sociological analysis of how Millennials, Social Media and a Global Pandemic transformed the ESG trend into a key pillar for investors.

Written & researched in collaboration with Gabi Skoff.

Photo by JING GUO on Unsplash

What does it take for a trend to become a norm? That’s a complex sociological question, but a simple answer is that the trend in question demonstrates continued value extending into the future. Sustainable investing is here to stay, and the infrastructure, mechanisms, and consumer demands developing around it tell us it’s not going anywhere.

We are in an ESG revolution.

ESG investing centers on three namesake pillars: (E)nvironmental, (S)ocial, and (G)overnance. Today, a growing share of investment processes, products, and active ownership practices are integrating ESG principles. Over the last seven years, the popularity of sustainable investing has soared…

Samantha Lewis

Venture Capitalist at Mercury Fund. I can’t resist founders who care deeply about the problem they are solving, as I do. Opinions my own.

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