One of them The most pressing cases for America to prepare for, perhaps, are those from Roe v. Wade’s future is what she faces after victory.
With the midterm elections coming up, voters weigh in on candidates and, therefore, measures that will determine access to abortion and other human rights issues. In all of this, the role that venture capital has to play is becoming clearer: there is a push to fund more reproductive health companies, to include healthcare access in ESG investments, and to reassess the safest places for women workers to start a business.
To get a clearer picture of what’s ahead, TechCrunch+ surveyed eight investors and learned what they think the role of venture capital should be in a post-Roe world. McKeever Conwell, founder of Rarebreed Ventures, sees the tight relationship between venture capital and ethics. He said he wants to fund startups focused on reproductive health, even though there are some who don’t care about human rights issues when it comes to investing.
Theodora Lau, founder of Unconventional Ventures, believes more investors should take a political stance on the issue. “Access to health care is a right; it’s not politics,” she says. Regardless of our role, it’s an existential issue that should concern all of us.
We’re broadening our lens by looking for more — and more — investors in TechCrunch’s surveys, where we ask top experts about the challenges facing the industry.
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“As the law continues to lag, it’s important to act proactively for technology to bring transparency to current and future innovations and reduce the risks we see today.” Hessie Jones, Partner, MATR Ventures
Meanwhile, Hessie JonesA partner at MATR Ventures, he says the due diligence process needs to go deeper to identify the risks of developing new technology. “Due diligence must extend beyond the founder’s ‘intentions’. We must ask ourselves: What is the potential for this technology to be used for something other than its current purpose? What is the risk to people or groups? “
Finally, everyone we spoke to is keeping an eye out for a potential change in November. “Choose,” Lau said. “In your voice, your actions and your wallet.”
We talked to:
- Hessie Jones, Partner, MATR Ventures
- Lisa Calhoun, Gary Peet and William Leonard, Valor Ventures
- Mecca Tartt, Executive Director, Startup Runway
- Ed Zimmerman, Founding Partner, First Close Partners
- Theodora Lau, Founder, Extraordinary Ventures
- McKever Conwell, Founder, RareBreed Ventures
Hessie Jones, Partner, MATR Ventures
What was your first reaction to Roe’s flip? What implications does Roe’s reversal have on your company and investment strategy?
I grew up in a Catholic system that strongly opposes abortion and strongly opposes women’s right to decide what to do with their own bodies. I’m Canadian too, and our laws regarding abortion and mother’s rights are very different from the US.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision concerned rights under the 14th Amendment—specifically the right to privacy under the “Due Process Clause,” which guaranteed a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion—undermining all civil rights precedent. to flip.
In this opinion, the supposed misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment turns back the clock on the rights women have fought for for years.
As the law continues to procrastinate, it is important to take a proactive stance towards technology in order to bring clarity to current and future innovations and to address the risks we see today: the exposure of personal data, data surveillance, and the use of personal data that ultimately result in harm to individuals and groups.
This is already happening, and now reproductive data has found its way into societies where data subjects agree.
Will the Dobbs decision affect the standards you use to conduct due diligence?
oh no! Apps like Flow, Glowing, and Cue, which have been used to help women, can be armed with guarantees to identify those who are seeking or likely to have an abortion. The information collected by these applications and Big Tech may be sold, breached or accessed by government warrant without regard to the subject’s rights.
Due diligence must extend beyond a founder’s “objectives.” We must ask ourselves: What is the potential for this technology to be used for something other than its current purpose? What is the risk to people or groups? Also, we should demand at least privacy-by-design standards and the security of infrastructure that accesses any personal data.
We need to examine the intent of the founders, how the data will be used, who the partners are, how much the data will be shared and for what purposes. We’ve reached a dangerous crossroads where technology has contributed to harm, and we must now place the onus on founders to be more accountable for what they build.