From education inequality to overcriminalization, society’s problems are real—but so are their solutions. At Stand Together Ventures Lab, we give a leg up to entrepreneurs with a vision to change the world. Our mission is to fuel founders and their early-stage organizations that are challenging the status quo.
Since our launch last year, we’ve partnered with nine ventures. But our support goes beyond funding. We provide much needed patient capital and access to industry experts through our community of philanthropic organizations. I’m excited about these partners, each of which is dismantling barriers that keep society from moving forward.
Changemakers are already doing this in the areas of criminal justice, education, poverty, and a host of other seemingly intractable issues. With innovation—and support from Stand Together Ventures Lab —these innovators are proving each day the issues they tackle are not intractable after all. Take our partner BeGreatTV, which provides audio and visual lessons from Black innovators across industries. STVL3, LLC’s investment in BeGreatTV will help aspiring leaders learn from these talented trailblazers.
We’re also excited to partner (through STVL3, LLC) with JusticeText, a software platform that makes it easier for public defenders to incorporate audiovisual evidence in their clients’ defense. While about 80 percent of criminal cases involve video evidence—a powerful tool for justice—most public defenders lack the resources to transcribe relevant footage. Through its revolutionary approach, JusticeText is changing that.
Founders Devshi Mehrotra and Leslie Jones-Dove designed JusticeText to make it simple to upload, transcribe, and analyze audiovisual evidence, ultimately bringing greater racial and economic justice into the courtroom. Stand Together Ventures Lab’s investment is helping JusticeText scale its efforts and work toward making the service available to every public defense office in the United States.
This is only a starting point for Stand Together Ventures Lab. We are constantly seeking out and partnering with entrepreneurs like Devshi and Leslie – the innovators who are hellbent on social change. While we have invested predominately in areas of criminal justice reform, economic opportunity, and education, we want to build out our portfolio in 2021 and beyond across other priority areas like healthcare, poverty and free expression. We are going to take bolder risks. If we don’t see entrepreneurs solving these issues today, it doesn’t mean we are limited—it means we will drive efforts in those areas to find solutions. For example, keep an eye out for our work in communities and policing coming soon!
Why us? Stand Together Ventures Lab is uniquely positioned to back these entrepreneurs because of our differentiated approach to impact investing. We don’t have IRR hurdles that mainstream VC funds are subject to, and we don’t have arbitrary investment duration limits. We take the long view. We know change takes time, and we are committed to working with each partner for the greater social good.
This is where you come in. We’re looking for partners who are tackling society’s most pressing needs through a bottom-up approach. Do you have an idea for a social-impact business, know a founder or a venture with a clear and credible path for market adoption, or have a potential partner in mind? Let’s talk.
– Sihyun Choi, Managing Director of Stand Together Ventures Lab