We treat entrepreneurs as eternal persons with unconditional worth
We treat entrepreneurs as eternal persons with unconditional worth. Instead of deploying them as instruments to create wealth or even impact, we relate to them from our earliest interactions as image-bearers, seeking to deepen our relationship with them as we become more involved in their ventures. We look for ways to love and serve them irrespective of our financial interest, recognizing that founding a venture is a uniquely vulnerable activity that provides extraordinary opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, as well as real dangers. We help them avoid the exploitative, master the ethical, and pursue the redemptive in their dealings with us and other investors, as well as through their venture as a whole. We accompany them in ways that bring lasting personal transformation for them and for us, whatever the outcome of our investment.
1. We ensure that integrity and truth reign in our relationship with founders. This begins with seeking and speaking the truth as it relates to our understanding of them, their company, the opportunity, the likelihood of our involvement, and the value we and other investing partners can (and cannot) add to their ventures in the form of introductions, expertise, and functional support. It also means firmly correcting entrepreneurs’ exploitative or self-deceiving approaches to funders, such as overly optimistic forecasts, suppressed information, or unrealistic valuation expectations.
2. We upend typical power dynamics with founders by closing loops, keeping appointments, arriving on time for meetings, and favoring personal communication and accessibility—rather than an opaque, gatekeeper-oriented approach that places layers of associates and admins between us and founders. We never “go dark” to maximize our optionality or avoid difficult conversations. Where appropriate, we share our own motivations and convictions for the work of investing, being as open with our own story as we expect from the leaders we fund.
3. We protect founders’ interests: carefully walking them through the post-money cap table (including options, etc.) before the deal is over, encouraging them to seek wise coaching about personal guarantees and other financial actions that expose them to significant personal risk (and raising warning flags if we believe they are not), and keeping them accountable to their original mission and motives for building a company.
4. We value founders as individuals beyond their current company, creatively supporting their emotional, mental, relational, physical, and spiritual health. We ask deeper questions than they might hear from other investors: about the condition of their personal life, the foundations and aims of their ambition, the health of their team, and the right pace for scale. Where founders are Christian believers, we actively support them in the growth of their personal spiritual practices and redemptive leadership. When ventures fail, we move toward founders with a wise balance of accountability and support that prepares them for future success.
5. Where possible and without inappropriate coercion, we encourage entrepreneurs we invest in to partner with other redemptive actors in our broader deals. For example, on real estate development projects, we seek contractors and architects who honor rather than exploit their workforces.
6. We sharpen our imagination for building redemptive businesses by becoming familiar with the principles and practices in The Redemptive Business playbook from Praxis, and where appropriate, we encourage the entrepreneurs we back to do the same.