This Woman Launched a $100M Fund To Invest In Founders That Want To Save Black Communities From Climate Change

Zoey Dash McKenzie, founder of Public Ventures

Underserved communities will be disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. That’s a fact.

This is a harsh truth that Zoey Dash McKenzie is vowing to shift.

Her firm Public Ventures recently launched a $100 million impact fund that seeks out nascent life science and clean tech startups according to a recent TechCrunch report announcing the move.

“Beyond just being an impact fund, we are really breaking away from conventional structures and venture capital submitted in alignment with the needs of accelerating early-stage science,” Dash McKenzie told TechCrunch. “We’ve decided to employ a waterfall structuring, make assessments on a deal-by-deal basis and then return funds back to our LPs earlier on. We’re accelerating capital velocity at the early stage, when it’s needed most, so we really sit right in the middle of government grants and traditional venture capital.”

 A 2009 report from the University of Southern California highlights how extreme heat, massive floods and air pollution often lead to higher risks of death for African Americans and low-income households compared to other racial groups.

“We will be very thoughtful in terms of the types of investments that we make as opposed to sprinkling it across various verticals,” she added. “We aim to kind of stack our investments so that they have an amplified impact in the real world. We’re going to come up with a few strategies on how we can pull together a consortium of startups from all over the world to have a meaningful output.”

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