January 16, 2023

Screendoor Update: First Convening, Two New Investments, and Preparing for Growth

Although physicists might argue that there were no significant time travel breakthroughs in 2022, we at Screendoor disagree. On November 17, 2022, there was an event which allowed us to catch a glimpse of the future of venture capital. Namely, bringing together the emerging managers in our portfolio and our institutional LPs for Screendoor’s first IRL convening, which was held in San Francisco. Scientists, policymakers and technologists turned investors. First generation, self-funded college graduates. Differentiated strategies that aren’t just chasing the theme of the moment. It was a group of people who, because of their backgrounds, networks, experience, and hard work, are positioned to outperform.

While that day was just one of 365, it felt like a meaningful milestone and a memorable gathering. The 10 of us who founded Screendoor, and continue to serve as Advising GPs, are fortunate to be champions (and accelerants) of important transitions in our industry. 

The agenda for the day was mainly centered around continued relationship building between the emerging managers and institutional LPs. Besides Screendoor’s own capital deployment, we share mutual goals of bringing our LPs directly into the successive funds of our portfolio managers. In fact, this is happening already - faster than we expected! Alongside presentations from each of the managers, we ran several panel discussions and then ended the day with dinner. Thank you to all the attendees, and to JP Morgan for sponsoring the event.

Besides this convening, what else has occurred since our last update

  • We backed two more firms, bringing our total commitments thus far to 11. We’ve deployed over 40% of the fund into these investments and have also recommitted our support with our first follow-on in a Screendoor manager’s next fund. 
  • 500+ firms have applied for funding. About 20% of them were from outside of the US/Canada, and while we do not currently investment in those geographies, we believe there’s great potential in a Screendoor-type vehicle that does. Someone should do this before we do :) 
  • Our 10 Advising GPs continued 1:1 support of Screendoor managers. The most discussed topics in the second half of the year included: navigating a downturn, annual meeting strategies/formats, and institutionalizing a firm. We also ran programming, such as “Branding Building and Comms Strategies For Emerging Managers”, led by the CMO of a leading, multibillion dollar venture capital firm. 
  • We accelerated progress against our own firm building, from both a team and operations perspective. We’ll have more to share about plans for growth in the coming months!

Screendoor is an economic vehicle with a societal mandate. We believe that by investing in emerging managers from underrepresented populations, we can both capture upside in the private equity markets and change the makeup of the venture capital and technology industries. The past 18 months have given us more conviction that this opportunity is real and significant, even more so during a market correction. We’ll be raising additional capital later this year to deepen our commitment to tackling this opportunity. 

If you’re an emerging manager actively fundraising, and would like to share more information with us, we have an open application process and would be honored to hear from you. And if you’re an LP who would like to stay in touch for our next fundraise, just share your contact info

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