Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The Non-Financial Investor

Shortly after writing about my Dinosaur Venture Fund, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sara Howard, who gave me a perspective on a different type of non-financial investor than I had previously thought about.


She may be the best and only chance for these geniuses to feel heard and understood.

In this area, I normally think about impact investors who are motivated by improving the world by advancement in science & medicine or by providing access to capital to BIPOC founders, female founders, very young founders, or founders from historically overlooked regions. Sometimes this latter area is called diversity investing.

Sometimes I think about what I call recreational investors (perhaps there is a better term), who are primarily looking for cocktail conversation topics. From time to time, I have thought about, but not reduced to practice, ways to advance greater goals but servicing this community.

blue and brown table lamp
Photo by Johnny Briggs on Unsplash

But Sara as an investor is different.  Perhaps in a class by herself. Perhaps unique in the world. She invests in the most quirky people who have the largest vision. While focusing on huge visions is not entirely unheard of, focusing on quirky people was a new idea to me. By focusing on people that don’t fit into the normal model, she has the potential to find greatness that would otherwise be overlooked. And a chance to bring fairness.

I don’t know that in principle it is that different than the typical diversity investor. Like them, she is on a mission. But with a tighter focus and an infinitely greatly level of intensity and passion.

And a little bit like my work to create support for entrepreneurs with dyslexia, but that is a story for another day.

If your social contains the quirkiest of all people with the largest of all possible visions, perhaps you can introduce them to Sara. Even if she doesn’t invest, she had can bring a deep scientific perspective both personally and through her team. She may be the best and only chance for these geniuses to feel heard and understood.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals


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