Venture capital developing principles for ethical-tech investing in “Race to the Top” initiative

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At a Silicon Valley roundtable, investors and companies seek consensus on fostering alternatives to surveillance capitalism. 

Mountain View, CA, Sept 13, 2019—An ambitious effort led by venture investors — the “Race to the Top” initiative — is creating detailed investing principles and tools for venture capitalists to make innovative investments that support personal privacy and trustworthy identity control, leading venture capital firms gathered to discuss how to “operationalize good.”

Jaron Lanier (courtesy Gizmodo)

Inspired by a talk from Jaron Lanier, investors worked through the day to refine the Race to the Top Principles, which are designed to support investors to find investment opportunity at the frontiers of privacy and identity. Among VCs involved in creating the principles so far are Omidyar Network, International Finance Corp (IFC), Structure Capital, Georgian Partners, PickAxes & Shovels, Anthemis Group, Floodgate, PT Ventures, WestWave Capital, Glasswing Ventures,  and DBL Ventures.

One useful outcome of the meeting was a new focus on the critical importance of determining data “provenance.” Startup entrepreneurs at the meeting also asked for tools to help them understand and adopt privacy and identity protecting principles. A key next step decided on by participants was the need to build out a toolkit for investors to help them not only identify early stage companies using best practices, but to define and support those best practices as companies grow through their seed stages. 

Venture capitalists interested in participating in gatherings at Seattle and New York to develop the investor toolkit can contact Magdi Amin, at Omidyar Network directly, or complete an online query form.