Founders today are looking to strengthen and diversify their cap tables and advisory boards. Especially as we enter a market downturn, experienced operators and leaders who are building and running companies are going to be even more valuable to founders as advisors. Founders can leverage their relationships, expertise and unique perspectives based on their diverse backgrounds.
At GC we are committed to Responsible Innovation and DEI. Improving the diversity of our teams and our industry remains a top priority. We have a long history of bringing operational horsepower and diversity to our portfolio companies through introductions to board members, advisors and operators. But there’s a larger role we can play in making sure our founders have access to the operational expertise they need most - and at scale.
Today, General Catalyst is proud to publicly announce the Coalition Network.
The Coalition Network was built to diversify the cap tables of some of the world’s most promising start-ups by creating a community of prominent women and women of color who are eager to leverage their talents and expertise as founders, operators and angel investors. The Coalition Network is the brainchild of four powerhouse women - Toyin Ajayi co-founder of Cityblock Health, Lindsay Ullman co-founder of Umbrella, Jackie Nelson co-founder of Tribe AI, and Ashley Mayer former VP of Communications at Glossier–who together understand the tremendous benefit this untapped talent pool can offer to founders and their companies. When the team first ran the idea by me in 2020, I knew it was something my partners and I had to help bring to life.
GC is a founding partner of the Coalition Network.
The elegant model is a win-win-win for everyone involved. GC’s founders get access to talented and diverse advisors without taking additional dilution or slowing their fundraising process. Top operators get access to advisory opportunities with vetted startups where they can build their track records and connect with a community of peers at a similar inflection point in their careers. GC gets to support our founders, expand our network and extend access beyond the people we already know. We have some real skin in the game, sharing a portion of our financial upside with the operators in the Coalition Network. By standardizing on this model, we can deliver an incredible experience to each individual company, with portfolio-scale impact.
Since launching in 2021, we have placed more than 30 senior operators from companies like Airtable, Genentech and Stripe with GC portfolio companies as advisors, and we’re just getting started. If we’re successful, every GC investment will have the opportunity to diversify their cap table by virtue of partnering with us. Our founders will have access to an ever-expanding network of top operators and those operators will be a part of a supportive community that enables them to take a portfolio approach to their careers.
By putting our money where our mouth is, we’ve taken a concrete step towards enabling our founders to be more successful and improving the diversity of our portfolio.