In San Francisco, one of the most shocking days on record was September 9th, 2020. Eerily orange skies and unbreathable air made us feel as though we were living in an apocalypse. This was just one of the more recent extreme climate events that hit close to home; humanity has no more time to waste when it comes to protecting our planet.
We’re taking the next two issues of Incite Post to highlight the amazing women in our portfolio who are running for office, starting mission-driven businesses and fighting for paid family and medical leave for everyone.
At Incite, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice is a key pillar of why we invest the way that we do – in people who are often overlooked, but who deserve a spot at the table. We believe companies, organizations and movements offer a far deeper and richer perspective when they reflect the diversity in which they exist.
May Black History Month continue beyond February. We’re looking forward to lifting up Black voices, supporting Black founders and celebrating Black excellence all year round.
We encourage you to devote time this month to celebrate Black history – to learn about the pivotal Black leaders of our past and to invest in the ones we need to build a brighter future. This could mean buying from a Black owned business or supporting a Black woman running for governor in Virginia.
As we move into this new year, we’re taking this newsletter issue to celebrate a few Incite portfolio founders who are building delightful products or services and making the world a better place –at the same time. Doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive, and they should happen in tandem. Meet some of our favorite leaders who put this theory into action every day.
We have selected these companies, because they not only create wonderful items and services, but they always strive towards world-positive change – whether that be creating ethically sourced, everyday jewelry or a plastic-free grocery store or a sustainably sourced meat marketplace. We’re proud to partner with these teams and to highlight them during this season of giving.
‘Tis the season of thanks, and we are ever grateful to have you in our community of change-makers. Thank you for how much you care and all that you do to work towards a better America, and a better future.
This election isn’t just about November 3 -- especially this year given we may not have an outcome that night -- or January 20, 2021. It’s about every day after that and what our plan is to rebuild democracy after an alarmingly corrosive four years.
It’s fitting that Run for Office Day falls in the final twenty four hours of the Trump administration. As we soak up today's deep historical significance and the incredible promise of President Biden and Vice President Harris being sworn in, it’s worth taking stock of where we are and how much work is left to do.
The Peach State is in many ways a microcosm of the larger struggle for the soul of American democracy that's playing out nationally–from the politicized response to the pandemic which is pitting the Governor against local leaders like Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, to racially charged violence-inciting protests, voter suppression and more.
When we made our public commitment to invest $2 million in progressive candidates and political infrastructure for this election cycle, we didn’t yet realize the overwhelming and far-reaching impact that the COVID-19 pandemic would have across our country and our world, and in American political life. Today, we are pledging $200,000 to invest in nearly 60 key U.S. Senate and House of Representatives candidates.
Since we started Incite.org, we’ve dedicated ourselves to supporting leaders who are addressing the two deepest emergencies of our time: saving the planet and saving democracy. The stakes have never been higher. The future of our country and of our planet is on the ballot in 2020. We’re running out of time. We need to advance policies if we hope to make meaningful progress on existential challenges like the climate crisis, democratic processes and beyond.
Matt and I have helped other candidates in the past, and even founded an organization with the mission of launching the next generation of Democratic candidates (called Arena), but this is the first time that we have put significant time and effort into a Presidential campaign.
In 2019, Incite deployed investments and grants to teams working on a wide range of solutions across consumer hardware, robotics, sustainable products, civic tools, carbon removal solutions, climate policy, election protections and advocacy focused on economic security. The common denominator? Values.
We have put together the Incite Gift Guide to highlight some of our favorite things to give (and receive!). Not only are the products interesting, fresh and delightful, but the people who make them do so with the end goal of making the world a better place.
Powerhouse is an incubator and venture fund for clean energy entrepreneurs that backs the entrepreneurs building a decarbonized, digitized & decentralized grid. Powerhouse & Greentech Media present Watt it Takes, a monthly event and live podcast recording featuring founders of the biggest companies in clean energy and the personal stories behind the businesses they've built. Our co-founder, Matt Rogers, fresh off a 12+ hour flight from England, was interviewed by Emily Kirsch at the June Powerhouse event about his (and Nest's) origin story.
Our very own Matt Rogers was the guest on Jason Jacobs's refreshingly candid, thought-provoking and altogether thoroughly enjoyable podcast, "MY CLIMATE JOURNEY." Check it out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
Presidential campaigns get compared to a lot of things: a marathon, a film. Or a battleship. An iceberg. An "MRI of the soul." More recently, the metaphor of choice has been the tech startup. Even amid a growing backlash to Big Tech, evoking a no-nonsense startup retains some appeal, with its suggestion of scrappy agility, innovation, and single-minded focus. But at least one candidate takes the idea more literally: Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whose campaign has rocketed from underdog to top-tier status seemingly overnight.
When we started Incite, we asked ourselves these simple, but provoking questions: how could the world change if passionate albeit budding social entrepreneurs were given the early capital and support needed to get their ideas off the ground? Additionally, could smaller grants be catalytic in a space where so many multi-billion dollar foundations dominate?
Welcome to March! It’s Women’s History Month and we’re taking the next two issues of Incite Post to highlight the amazing women in our portfolio who are running for office, starting mission-driven businesses and fighting for paid family and medical leave for everyone.