For Startups / News & Events
December 4th, 2018

Meet Our New EIR, Laura Weidman Powers!

By Julie Menter

The startups in the NMV portfolio are wrestling with the biggest challenges facing our democracy. They’re building movements, telling new stories, and sparking civic engagement across the U.S., and we’re incredibly proud to see them using NMV’s early funding to scale their impact. We’ve also learned, as part of supporting more than 70 startups, that founders need more than just money to thrive.

When you’re grappling with challenges like generating revenue, hiring staff, and building a product road map, it helps to have access to someone with first-hand experience. Our previous cohorts have benefited from the expertise of amazing advisors, including Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, founder of SumOfUs, Matt Ewing, former Field Director at MoveOn.org, and Tate Hausman, Executive Director at the Analyst Institute. We’re thrilled to announce that our next Entrepreneur-in-Residence will be Laura Weidman Powers, Co-Founder of Code2040. She’ll advise the entrepreneurs in our Shift the Story cohort on the challenges and opportunities they may face, as well as help strategize on a one-to-one basis. We’re so excited to have Laura share the wisdom and insight she’s gained throughout her career in the social enterprise and technology space, including and especially her founding and scaling of Code2040.

“I’m thrilled to be New Media Ventures’ newest Entrepreneur in Residence. I believe deeply in the power of social enterprise to push boundaries and to create change in seemingly intractable circumstances. NMV’s portfolio companies are doing incredibly important work for our country. I’m excited to get to play a role in supporting them.”

Today, Code2040 is a nationally-recognized nonprofit whose mission is to ensure the full representation and leadership of Black and Latinx people in the innovation economy. Laura founded the organization in 2012 after experiencing Silicon Valley’s near-total lack of diversity first-hand. She set out to build bridges between the talent she knew was out there and the opportunity she saw around her. Over the course of six years, Laura grew Code2040 into a $7M organization with a staff of 35 serving 250+ students and 6000+ community members annually.

Laura’s amazing work has led to recognition from Stanford University, New America, EbonyForeign Policy MagazineThe RootFortune, the New York TimesForbesFast CompanyNPR, and many others. She also worked with the Obama administration as a senior advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. Laura has a BA cum laude from Harvard College and a JD and an MBA from Stanford University.

We’re tremendously grateful that Laura will be sharing her wisdom with the NMV portfolio, and if you’re curious about the insights Laura has to offer, you can find her on TwitterMedium, and LinkedIn. Two great places to start are her post on the need for more social entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley and her guide to addressing “that guy” who wants quality over diversity.

Laura has spent her career grappling with some of the toughest problems facing entrepreneurs, the tech industry, and the country as a whole, and we can’t wait to see how she helps the founders in the NMV portfolio do the same. Welcome to the team, Laura!