The VC Lab Way

An ethical approach to venture capital

The VC Lab Way is an action-oriented approach to getting involved in venture capital that merges the economic gains of the asset class with ethical stewardship. It’s not simply about finding and investing in high-growth startups in a responsible way; it’s also about making conscious investment decisions that align with broader societal values and goals. 

We are here to fix the problems of the world by inspiring and supporting ethical investors to fund solutions. Time is of the essence. We need solutions now.

Adeo Ressi, CEO of Decile Group, parent of VC Lab

At the heart of the VC Lab Way lies a vibrant culture that champions a get-it-done attitude, resilience, and self-awareness. We believe in the power of proactive problem-solving, and we instill these values into every participant. Our processes are strategically designed to foster continuous learning, improvement, and growth. Through weekly mentoring sessions, AMA events, regular reviews, and a strong emphasis on peer support, we cultivate an environment that facilitates knowledge sharing, collaboration, and accountability. This approach ensures that every participant is well-equipped to navigate the challenges of the venture capital industry and is empowered to drive positive change.

Values | Mission | Methods | Culture | Support | Advice | Conclusion

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Our Values

The Mensarius Oath serves as a guiding compass for financial professionals in the VC Lab Way, particularly those investing in enterprises using personal or investor capital. The oath embodies a set of values that are not only morally upright but also focused on creating positive outcomes for all stakeholders involved. The oath includes the following:

  • 1. Commitment to Positivity: Professionals are committed to creating financial and non-financial positive outcomes for all stakeholders, consciously avoiding harm to any party.
  • 2. Benefiting Society: The oath emphasizes the use of financial expertise to benefit humanity, aligning with VC Lab’s mission of societal good.
  • 3. Integrity and Fairness: Professionals pledge to fight any abuse of power, promote equality, and uphold high ethical standards in all interactions.
  • 4. Privacy Respect: The Oath underscores the importance of privacy, ensuring confidential matters are protected from unwanted public disclosure.
  • 5. Accountability: Violations of the Oath’s values lead to voluntary departure from the industry, maintaining the integrity of the profession.

In case of any violation of these values, the oath stipulates that the individual will leave the industry voluntarily if the issue is not cured. This mechanism holds professionals accountable and ensures the oath’s principles are upheld.

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Our Mission

Venture capital holds the potential to be a potent catalyst for good in the world, funding innovative companies that tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time. This impact isn’t just about financial returns; it’s about generating positive societal change, shaping the future, and improving lives. By making strategic, values-driven investments, venture capitalists can play a significant role in shaping a more sustainable, equitable, and healthier world. Let’s explore some potential scenarios that illustrate the transformative power of venture capital.

Example: Investing in Carbon Capture

Consider the impact of a venture capital firm investing in multiple startups specializing in carbon capture technologies. These companies, powered by venture capital, might develop and scale innovative solutions to sequester carbon emissions effectively, contributing significantly to global efforts to mitigate climate change. Over the next decade, these companies could enable industries worldwide to reduce their carbon footprint, playing a key role in the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

Example: Backing AI Innovations

In another scenario, a venture capital firm might channel its resources into multiple companies leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to address various societal challenges. These companies could revolutionize everything from healthcare to education, transportation to climate modeling. For instance, an AI-powered platform could personalize education, catering to each student’s unique learning style and pace, or an AI-based tool could predict climate change patterns, helping societies prepare and adapt. Over time, these AI innovations, backed by venture capital, could drive widespread societal transformation.

Example: Funding African Healthcare

Lastly, consider a venture capital firm focusing its investments on multiple healthcare companies in Africa. These companies might develop affordable, scalable solutions to tackle health challenges unique to the continent, such as tropical diseases, maternal mortality, and access to basic healthcare services. With the backing of venture capital, these companies could dramatically improve healthcare outcomes, extend life expectancy, and enhance the quality of life for millions of people across Africa over the next decade.

Through these examples, we can see how venture capital can be a force for good, driving innovation and progress to address global challenges. This is the essence of the VC Lab mission: to transform venture capital into a tool for positive societal change.

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Our Methods

The VC Lab Way is founded on a comprehensive set of methods designed to promote a transformational approach to venture capital. Each method is strategically devised to cultivate a deep understanding of the venture capital industry, to foster a community of peer support, and to ensure that every participant is progressing and developing essential skills. These methods, crafted based on years of industry experience and insight, aim to guide the participants on their journey to becoming successful venture capitalists that can make a positive difference in the world.

Weekly Expert Mentoring

Every week, participants have the unique opportunity to engage in group mentoring sessions led by top-tier venture capital experts. These interactive sessions serve as a platform for discussion, instruction, and exploration, offering invaluable insights into the venture capital landscape. Participants are encouraged to present their queries and seek advice on overcoming challenges. 

Ask Me Anything (AMA) Events

AMA events are a cornerstone of the VC Lab Way. These open forum discussions feature industry experts who answer questions and share insights about the venture capital industry. These events enable participants to delve into the complexities of the industry and gather invaluable knowledge from experienced professionals.

Brutally Honest Feedback

VC Lab emphasizes the importance of candid feedback. Participants regularly receive straightforward, constructive criticism about their performance. This approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement and resilience, helping participants grow and refine their skills quickly and effectively.

Weekly Mandatory Sprints

VC Lab implements a system of weekly mandatory sprints. Each sprint focuses on a specific goal, encouraging participants to work diligently towards achieving it. These sprints promote consistent effort, focus, and a results-oriented approach.

Regular Reviews

Regular pass/fail reviews serve as a key accountability mechanism within the VC Lab program. These reviews evaluate participants’ progress and commitment, ensuring that they stay on track with their venture capital journey.

Epic Sprint to Catch Up

VC Lab recognizes that sometimes participants may fall behind. To address this, they arrange an “Epic Sprint” that allows participants to catch up and get back on track. This method ensures that no participant is left behind due to temporary setbacks.

Active Peer Support

In the VC Lab Way, peers play a significant role in each participant’s journey. Active peer support fosters a sense of community, promotes collaborative learning, and creates an environment where participants can learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives. This collective growth is an integral part of the VC Lab Way.

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Our Culture

At the core of VC Lab is a culture that fosters a get-it-done attitude. This spirit is not just about speed or efficiency, but also about resilience and tenacity. It’s about the willingness to roll up sleeves and tackle challenges head-on, to persist when things get tough, and to strive continually towards goals. This culture is instilled in every participant, underscoring the importance of determination, initiative, and proactive problem-solving. We encourage everyone to persevere, not just when it’s easy, but especially when it’s not.

The culture at VC Lab also emphasizes the critical role of self-awareness. We believe that success in venture capital, as in life, requires a clear understanding of one’s motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Recognizing when the program isn’t the right fit, acknowledging when timing isn’t optimal, dealing with unforeseen life events, or discerning when a market is no longer compelling are all crucial. If participants find themselves facing these situations, we urge them to consider dropping out of the program. At VC Lab, we want to see people succeed and be happy, not simply pursuing a path because they started on it. 

Our commitment is to the well-being and long-term success of our participants, even if that means leaving the program.

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Our Support

VC Lab, a part of the larger network, Decile Group, offers more than just a venture capital education; it equips participants with a comprehensive set of tools and support systems, designed to ensure success in operating a VC fund. As a leader in the venture capital space, Decile Group has developed an array of industry-leading services, transforming the way venture capital operates, and positioning it as an ethical force for good in the world. Here’s a look at what the Decile Group offers:

  • VC Lab: As a premier venture capital accelerator, VC Lab is dedicated to creating enduring Ethical Venture Capital firms. The program not only imparts valuable knowledge but also instills a culture of resilience, self-awareness, and the tenacity to effect positive change.
  • Decile Hub: This all-in-one SaaS platform simplifies the process of managing venture capital funds and Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). With an emphasis on ease and efficiency, Decile Hub takes the complexity out of fund management, allowing managers to concentrate on what truly matters – identifying and nurturing potential startups.
  • Decile Partners: Providing full-service, flat-rate back office support, Decile Partners expertly handles the administrative, financial, and legal aspects of managing venture capital firms and SPVs. By taking care of these operational necessities, Decile Partners enables fund managers to focus on their core mission of supporting transformative startups.
  • Decile Capital: With its family of funds, Decile Capital backs emerging managers globally. It provides the necessary capital to promising and diverse fund managers, fostering a more inclusive and dynamic venture capital landscape.

Through VC Lab and the broader Decile Group network, participants gain access to a wealth of resources and support, ensuring they’re well-equipped to succeed in the venture capital industry.

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The journey through the VC Lab Way may be challenging, but the rewards can be transformative. Here are a few pieces of advice that can help guide you through this experience:

  • 1. Don’t Take It Personally: Our methods encourage candid feedback and openness. Remember, any critique you receive is not personal; it’s a tool to help you grow and improve. Ignore anything that you do not think is valuable.
  • 2. Be Brutally Honest: Similarly, you should be brutally honest with your peers. Offering straightforward, constructive feedback can be immensely helpful to your colleagues. Don’t shy away from pointing out areas for improvement – your honesty could be instrumental in someone else’s growth journey.
  • 3. You Get Out What You Put In: Your experience with VC Lab will be directly proportional to the effort you put into it. We provide the resources and support, but your commitment, diligence, and proactive engagement are crucial for maximizing the learning experience.
  • 4. Seek Answers: Before reaching out with questions, make an effort to find the answers independently, using tools like Decile Base. It’s an effective way to improve your problem-solving skills and broaden your understanding of the industry.
  • 5. Communicate Wisely: If you’re facing challenges or have concerns, start by discussing them with your Confidants. If further input is needed, bring up the issue with your Working Group. Only after these steps, if the issue still persists, should you reach out to the leadership. 
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As we stand at the cusp of a next generation in venture capital, we invite you to explore the VC Lab Way. A world where capital is not just a vehicle for economic gain but a powerful tool for societal good awaits us. With the VC Lab Way, you will be part of an endeavor that redefines traditional norms and paves the way for an inclusive, values-driven approach to venture capital. Here, you will not only gain an in-depth understanding of the venture capital industry, but you will also develop the mindset to make a meaningful difference in the world.

We welcome you to become part of a supportive, resilient, and ethically-driven community that values positive impact as much as profitability. Embark on this journey with us and together, we can shape a future where venture capital fuels not just business growth, but societal progress and sustainability. In the VC Lab Way, we work together, learn together, grow together, and ultimately, we strive to change the world together. We look forward to welcoming you to this unique and transformative experience.