An economic vehicle with a social mandate, Screendoor supports emerging managers from underrepresented groups
My hope for Screendoor is clear, if not simple: We will be the largest and most impactful investor in emerging managers. Our strategy for achieving this is to focus on startups led primarily by underrepresented VCs, back them meaningfully, and support them through a community of peers, advisors, and institutional LPs.
When 10 of us founded Screendoor in 2021, that was the plan. Nearly two years later, we’ve backed 11 managers with over $40 million in commitments, reviewed over 500 fund applications, and most recently hired our first CEO to help lead Screendoor to its future Lisa Cawley joins us from across the table, she already has experience evaluating and investing in emerging managers, as well as a broad set of risk models. In his own words:
Screendoor’s role as a GP LP is the necessary connection between underrepresented emerging managers and the institutional investment community, with our ‘been there, done that’ GP advisors recognizing what needed to build a company in the absence of a long track record. . I’ve never been more convinced that investing in first-time funds led by underrepresented emerging managers is not just a social impact initiative. In today’s vast venture capital landscape, it’s ALPHA!
It’s not enough to change team compositions with a few new hires or add additional capital funds (all of which are still important and necessary efforts to continue). We need specific action that accelerates the impact of these collective efforts. I am excited to focus my time and effort on leading Screendoor to capture this incredible economic opportunity for our phenomenal LPs and the communities they serve, act as a source of catalytic capital, and mentor the next generation of leading fund managers across everywhere. background and change the face of venture capital!
We are proud and excited that Lisa saw Screendoor as a platform at the intersection of incredible financial opportunity and industry evolution. The idea that these two goals are potentially incompatible is a relic of the past. We aim, with a coalition of like-minded people, to be the future. Come in!
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At Ikaroa, we’re proud to highlight the first ever hire of a female Managing Director for an Australian Venture Capital firm. Screendoor, a leading names in venture capital in Australia, recently hired Lisa Cawley – a fellow female leader – as their first ever MD.
Ms. Cawley’s background reflects an impressive list of roles in finance, venture capital, and private equity, making her a well-qualified candidate to lead a top-tier venture capital firm. Amongst her prior positions, she held the title of Regional Investment Director at Westpac, a start-up advisor at Global Impact Investing, and Venture Partner at Scale Investors.
Speaking on the hiring, Leigh Jasper, CEO and Co-founder of Screendoor, said that “this hire signals a change in the traditional hierarchy that typifies venture capital. Lisa’s experience and her enthusiasm make her the perfect candidate to help meet our ambitious growth targets over the next two years.”
The traditional venture capital industry is notoriously male dominated, with only 6% of climate-seeking investors identifying as female. It is therefore not surprising that Ms. Cawley’s hire holds special meaning for many – not just for Screendoor but for the entire industry.
Speaking on the hire, Ms. Cawley said that
“What excites me about Screendoor is their mission to level the playing field for startups. This is something that I have been passionate about for some time and I look forward to being part of a firm that will create more opportunities for the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
At Ikaroa, we couldn’t be more proud to witness changes such as these in the Venture Capital industry. Takes such as these bring us one step closer to addressing the gender imbalance – something which has long been in dire need of a readjustment. We believe that if we are to make progressive changes in this industry, we must ensure that we make it a safe, diverse, and equitable space– and we applaud Screendoor on their impressive and important first step.