When we founded True Ventures ten years ago, it was with the vision to create a different kind of venture capital firm—one focused on creating alignment, embracing risk and practicing authenticity. Our early years were spent building upon this vision, as well as our investment thesis that creative, audacious Founders could often do more with smaller amounts of capital.
Beginning in 2009, as we began to see that our investment model was working, we intensified our efforts to create supportive programs for Founders and their teams. This led to the formation of True University, Founder Camp and many other events building community across our portfolio.
Over the past few years, we’ve endeavored to expand our reach even further by focusing on the impact we as a firm and as a portfolio can have upon the broader community. To that end, at True University 2014, we launched True Impact, a new initiative to extend the power of True’s creative platform, our people and our brand to nonprofit organizations improving the communities around us.
Every year, we solicit nominations for this program from our Founders and their employees, and then recognize one organization upon which we focus our attention for the following year. The first nonprofit to benefit from True Impact was GLIDE, an institution in San Francisco’s Tenderloin mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. In 2015, we recognized ChickTech, an organization dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers.
This year, we are proud to recognize Compass Family Services as our 2016 True Impact partner. Located in San Francisco, Compass Family Services helps homeless families and families at imminent risk for homelessness achieve housing stability, family well-being and self-sufficiency. Their programs provide services to more than 5,000 parents and children each year, with 50 percent of clients under the age of 18. Of Compass’s 80+ staff members, 57 percent are people of color, 73 percent are women, and more than 20 percent have been homeless and bring firsthand knowledge to their work with clients. While we celebrate the positive contributions the startup economy has made to the Bay Area, we also recognize that there are many area residents who have not benefited equally in the prosperity of the past decade, and we are proud to take a small step to share our resources with Compass and the families with which it works.
As we celebrate ten years of our firm’s existence, we are grateful to have the opportunity to support an organization that contributes so meaningfully to the Bay Area and the unique issues facing our community. Congratulations to Compass, and we look forward to working closely with your organization this year.