Stay up to Date

Thoughts and leadership game changers from Merge Lane
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Mergelane Blog

Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

A Lesson in Leveraging My VC Network for Good | COVID-19 in Vail, Colorado

As a VC, I have the opportunity to build relationships with people who have tremendous financial resources and connections. I often hesitate to ask my network to support philanthropic causes, because I want to respect our business relationship. After seeing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our community in Vail, Colorado, however, I decided it was time to ask.

I invited four Vail nonprofits to present to my network. I’m sharing the recording of the event in hopes that it will inspire others to leverage their connections for good. I organized this event prior to George Floyd’s death, but I think this idea can easily be translated to support efforts to achieve racial equality. I am thinking about how I might implement that myself and welcome any of your ideas or opportunities for collaboration.

The presenting organizations are below.

Eagle Valley Community Foundation (link to donate)
Eagle Valley Behavioral Health (link to donate)
The Vail Valley Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Fund (link to donate)
Walking Mountains (link to donate)

I learned far more than I expected from this presentation. Here are just five of my takeaways:

  1. Vail Valley unemployment has surged from 2% in January to over 30%.
  2. Unemployment checks will be reduced by $600 on June 26.
  3. Eagle County has seen more suicides in the past seven weeks than COVID-19 deaths.
  4. Feeding America has estimated that 8,000 of our 50,000 local residents were food insecure prior to COVID-19 and the explosion in unemployment. Based on experience at the food bank, the Eagle Valley Community Foundation believes the number of food insecure is now over 15,000 of our 50,000 neighbors.  
  5. The Eagle Valley Community Foundation food banks and pantries served over 4,000 people last week. This is almost a 300% increase over demand for food before the pandemic, and the number seeking assistance is increasing each week. The food served is also now often the primary source of family meals, rather than a supplemental source of meals. 

Despite these dire statistics, I also heard many signs of hope in the presentation. You can hear more in the podcast episode. 

Thanks for listening.

Related Posts

Episode 34: Adding Value in Today’s Venture Capital Market with Peterson Ventures’ Ben Capell

The proliferation of venture capital funds has left many VCs wondering how to deliver unique value to their portfolio companies and how to scale that value to fit their portfolio strategy. I invited Ben Capell, partner at Peterson Ventures, to join us for a candid conversation.

Read more ➞

Authentic Feedback for Underrepresented Founders

When I listened to this story about a black entrepreneur who has been unable to raise funding for his startup, it made me wonder whether the investors he pitched had given him authentic feedback. 

Read more ➞

Tuesday Takeaways 8.11.20 - Four Questions I Ask Myself Every Day

After my business partner had a serious health scare 18 months ago, I started asking myself three questions every day. I've added a fourth during this pandemic.

Read more ➞

Episode #33: Recruiting Top Tech Talent with Evan Walden of Getro

I invited Evan Walden of Getro to share his thoughts on recruiting top talent in the current environment and the role VCs can play to help their portfolio companies address this ongoing issue.

Read more ➞

Stay up to date!

Sign up to receive updates on everything we are up to, including future events and the latest news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form