SemperVirens Venture Capital, a leading early stage venture capital fund focused on technology transforming work, health, and financial wellness, announced today that it has established an Executive Advisory Board of leading CHROs focused on the future of work. The Executive Advisory Board will leverage their deep experience managing human capital at scale to shed light on how the country’s largest employers can and will implement technology to help their employees work more effectively, live healthier lives, and earn more take-home pay.
COVID-19 has revealed deep, fundamental cracks in the US economy, accelerating existing trends in automation, healthcare, and education. As Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently stated, "The economy as we knew it is probably a thing of the past. We’re recovering, but to a different economy." This level of swift, unprecedented disruption is the type of environment that allows innovation to thrive, but it is far too often that the resulting technology is developed without the input of the companies and the individuals they are impacting the most, yielding unintended negative results.
"The future of work has arrived, whether we like it or not, and it is digital, distributed, data-driven, diverse, and dynamic. Technology has the power to transform how we work, live, and earn money for the better, but only if we use it in the right way. We are building a powerful network for identifying the new technologies that are poised to create change, and then getting them in the hands of the right people who can help them scale their impact," says Allison Baum Gates, General Partner at SemperVirens.
Silicon Valley has historically been on the cutting edge of enabling remote work, promoting ongoing skills development, and empowering employers to invest in their employees’ overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being. However, it can be a challenge for businesses addressing those needs to break out beyond selling their products to other early adopters, who tend to be small businesses and other tech startups. By contrast, the Fortune-500 employs 27 million people, roughly 20% of the nation’s workforce, and are, at times, the last exposed to the greatest innovations in the space. Together, SemperVirens and the Executive Advisory Board will bridge the gap between the country’s most ambitious technology entrepreneurs, and the leaders with the power to implement these innovative solutions in the real world.
Members of the Executive Advisory Board were selected based on their deep experience at the helm of Fortune-200 companies, as well as their shared commitment to transforming the world’s biggest opportunities in workforce, healthcare and financial tech. With the Board’s insights, SemperVirens will continue to evolve their investment theses, collaborate closely to identify companies solving critical challenges faced by these influential and sizable employers, quickly vet their viability in the real world, and selectively invest in the best businesses. Once an investment is made, the fund and the Board will work together to advise founders on how to scale their products, sales strategies, and key partnerships with Fortune-200 companies.
Inaugural members joining the SemperVirens Executive Advisory Board include:
Jolen Anderson, Global Head of HR, BNY Mellon
Joe Bosch, Former CHRO, DIRECTV
Darrell Ford, CHRO, UPS
Diane Gherson, Former CHRO, IBM
Dermot O’Brien, Chief Transformation Officer, ADP
Hayagreeva "Huggy" Rao, Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior, GSB, Stanford University
John Renfro, Former CHRO, Capital Group & Disney
Michael Ross, Former CHRO, Visa
Mala Singh, CPO, Electronic Arts
Katie Watson, Former EVP HR, Gilead Sciences
"We look forward to leveraging our collective experience at large, global organizations to help the SemperVirens team and portfolio founders. We will certainly benefit from working together on this world class advisory board as we gain a front row seat to the innovation that is happening in the future of work being fueled by HR technology," says board co- founding members Michael Ross, former Chief HR Officer at Visa, and John Renfro, former Chief HR Officer at Capital Group & Disney.
SemperVirens and the Executive Advisory Board will be convening on a quarterly basis, releasing an upcoming "Trends to Watch" report in February 2021 aggregating their findings regarding actionable opportunities for HR leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as launching an invite-only virtual conference for select Senior HR Executives from public companies in April of 2021.
Founded in 2018, SemperVirens is an early stage ecosystem fund investing in workforce technology, healthcare technology, and financial technology companies that sell to and through employers. Their team members bring deep industry experience, relationships, and insights and is led by Allison Baum Gates, Robby Peters, Greg Golub, Caribou Honig, and Colin Tobias. The firm has more than $50 million AUM, and a portfolio of 32 companies. For more information, visit www.sempervirensvc.com.
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