At Lumira Ventures, the past couple of months have been consumed with evaluating new investment opportunities, and working with our portfolio companies, governments, and the venture and healthcare ecosystems to ensure that our companies and all innovation-centric companies broadly are well positioned to weather these challenging times and flourish in a post-COVID-19 world. At the same time, with the realization that we, like virtually all VC and PE firms, were incurring reduced expense savings, we felt we had an opportunity to do something more for individuals and families facing financial challenges and for non-innovation based businesses that have been so impacted by COVID-19 through no fault of their own.
We are calling this the Double Bottom Line Challenge, and have kicked off the initiative with a $100,000 commitment. Each member of the Lumira Team was tasked to reach out to their local communities to see where incremental funding could make the most impact and ideally where we could achieve multiple objectives – for example, supporting a community based restaurant to create and deliver meals to those in need. Our team has been reaching out to organizations, some with long histories of providing local community support and others quickly put together by volunteers over the first few week of the crisis. As part of the process our team has been touched by the dedication, commitment and support of so many who are making such a big difference to the communities we have connections to. Over the past week we provided our first wave of support to the organizations listed below and each Tuesday for the coming weeks, our team members will pitch to their co-workers to determine where we will make additional allocations to provide further support to communities most impacted.
Second Harvest: secondharvest.ca. A Toronto-based organization that provides fresh foods to frontline hunger-relief organizations across Canada. Lumira’s donation to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund has been matched by the Sprott Foundation, who have committed up to $100,000 in matching funds.
Life Science Cares: lifesciencecares.org A Boston-based organization supported by a number of Lumira’s industry colleagues that is providing support to those being hit hardest – the homeless, those facing financial challenges, and students – around the Boston area.
Feed the Frontlines TO: feedthefrontlinesto.org. A Toronto-based initiative that provides meals to Toronto healthcare workers on the frontlines, also supporting local restaurants in the process.
Food Gatherers: foodgatherers.org An Ann Arbor-based organization that provides meals to low-income families in the community.
Outreach Project: runnymedepresbyterian.ca An initiative run by Toronto’s Runnymede Presbyterian Church to have local restaurant Nook Café prepare and deliver 150 meals to those in need in Toronto’s Parkdale community.
We invite the venture capital and private equity community across Canada to join us in this fantastic journey to help those in our local communities hardest hit by the crisis. We are open to suggestions as to where funding is needed and at the same time we encourage all our peers to leverage our list as they also look to provide help in their communities.
Please feel free to reach out to our team if you’d like to donate to the organizations we’ve identified.
The Lumira Ventures Team