climate change, Zoey Dash McKenzie

Founding Partner Of Public Ventures Firm To Fund $100M to Combat Effects Of Climate Change On Black Communities

If you have never thought about how climate change might impact Black communities, one business owner has you covered.

Zoey Dash McKenzie is thinking ahead about how Black communities are disproportionately affected by climate change. TechCrunch reported that the owner of Public Ventures firm announced a $100 million impact fund for developing life science and clean tech startups.

The founding partner at Public Ventures hopes a government program she is a part of will kick off the fund. Dash McKenzie told TechCrunch the program had set aside more than $50 million for fund managers. She aims to start investing this year.

According to the outlet, she said, “We’re aiming to do an open call for the fund in the fall so we will be ready to not only identify some really good startups outside of our current pipelines but to invest before the end of the year.”

She also said of her plans, “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.”

According to Essence, Dash McKenzie plans to help ventures secure capital in the early stages. “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,” she said. “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.”

TechCrunch reported that the founding partner wants to cultivate a venture studio-like experience. The goal is to break down barriers to capital. She told the outlet, “In some ways, that breaks down the barriers in terms of accessing capital, accelerating their innovation, and broadening their networks.”

Dash McKenzie’s impact fund is based in the U.S. but focuses on startups in Canada.