Community//

The Best VC Trend of 2020: Investors Caring About Founder Well-Being

Finally! More leaders in the venture space are thinking about sustainability throughout the entire capital stack.  It’s a new era for venture capital. After witnessing more females and people of color attain GP status, we are now seeing VCs are vocally championing founders’ well-being. Micro funds are thriving and LPs are placing bets on an […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Finally! More leaders in the venture space are thinking about sustainability throughout the entire capital stack. 

It’s a new era for venture capital. After witnessing more females and people of color attain GP status, we are now seeing VCs are vocally championing founders’ well-being. Micro funds are thriving and LPs are placing bets on an assortment of experiments on how to maximize returns.

Venture Capital Is Listening …

GPs are helping their founders make mental health a valued asset, and many speak from personal experience. Crosscut MD Brian Garret wrote, “many founders don’t address self-care until their ambition or their idea is affecting their health and well-being in real, sometimes irreversible ways.” Today, the firm announced that they are re-investing their own fees to promote their founder’s mental health. 

Crosscut is not alone. Freestyle Capital last week announced a similar initiative. Freestyle MD Josh Fesler spoke openly about loneliness and stress, and the fund has partnered with the Hoffman Institute and Meru Health to support Freestyle’s founders. 

Felicis was one of the early standouts in the movement, gifting 1% of capital to founder coaching and mental health in 2018. Shortly after that, Atlas (formerly AlphaBridge) built an entire firm off the belief that founders thrive when they are not being pushed at a burnout pace.

Alexis Ohanian calls the fetishization of overworking “Hustle Porn.” Many ascribe the rise in mental health issues to both the misuse of technology and an excessive hustle culture practiced by many startup founders. 

MiLA Capital starting thinking about mental health deeply with our first investment. The company, Sentio, was started because the CEO, George Eleftheriou, had privately battled mental illness, and believed technology could assist in reversing the harmful effects.

Pictured: The Sentio team quickly formed peer groups during their first week building the Feel product.

MiLA Capital, like Crosscut, partnered with Evolution to offer coaching to their founders. In less than two weeks, MiLA is hosting 50 CEOs in Yosemite for a three-day retreat. The goal is to assist founders to invest in themselves and uncover how to become a successful transformational leader. Founders will learn how to navigate negativity, build emotional intelligence, create a template of positive thought and behavior that can influence desirable outcomes. In addition, founders will have the opportunity to work with business experts to explore pressing leadership issues, such as recruiting, burnout, governance, and culture. As one attendee recently shared, “Professional development is something that I’ve de-prioritized to get [my company] to where it is today.” 

Pictured: Autocamp Yosemite makes a great location for a CEO retreat.

It’s Not Just About Founders

Founders are a starting point. According to Cigna, three in five Americans are lonely, and the working environment plays a critical part of that mindset. Working with founders to solve their personal challenges will have a trickle-down impact in their organizations, as employee well-being will become top of mind as well.

The year 2020 will be remembered as the milestone year when startup founders focused on the positive emotional, mental, and physical well-being of themselves and their people, recognizing that this foundation is actually a hack for the traditional financial metrics of success.  

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    Closing the VC Gender Gap, with Jon Avidor and Tracy Warren

    by Jon Avidor
    Community//

    5 Ways to Close the VC Gender Gap with Megan Bent and Tyler Gallagher

    by Tyler Gallagher
    Community//

    Blair Silverberg of Capital: “5 Things Every CEO Should Know About Navigating The World Of Finance”

    by Charlie Katz

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.