I want to take the opportunity of this second blog post of the year (!) to wish you and your families Happy Holidays and a Happy, Healthy and Wonderful New Year.
For a recession year, 2009 was not all that bad: SoftTech VC II closed 15+ new investments, a number of our companies raised additional financing from great VC firms (Eventbrite, Curse, Outright, Blekko,...) and we even enjoyed a few nice exits (Ohloh, Mint, Mixer Labs,...). I am also honored to be a finalist for Best Angel investor at the Crunchies, and I am really excited about the prospects of the companies I invest in for 2010. But that's not what I want to focus this post on.
I want to tell you a mundane, yet very important story about the power of social media, and how our kids can actually help make the world a better place. A few months ago, my wife Bernadette saw a tweet from a Stanford professor mentioning how powerful this video from Charity Water was. She decided to show it to our kids, and our daughter Jade - who had her 9th birthday coming up a couple of months later - decided instantly to forego her birthday presents and ask the friends she would invite to her birthday party to contribute to her Charity Water campaign.
What resonated with Jade most was to fill up a glass of water, put some mud in it, and realize that kids in Africa have to drink that muddy water - instead of the clean water that she is taking for granted. The initial goal of the campaign was to raise $200 - just from the friends who joined her birthday party. And that initial goal was fulfilled. We had said that Bernadette and I would match what Jade would raise by herself, and as of today, we have lined up $398 - which was great. But it was not enough, we felt we needed to do more.
Building a well costs $5,000, and that well can serve the needs of a local community in Africa, or other parts of the world that don't have the luxury of clean water. A donation of $20 can also serve the needs of a kid for 20 years, so do the maths: $5,000 will help 250 kids with their needs for 20 years.
Jade's wish for this Christmas is that we help fund a well. Bernadette and I will match the first $2,500 contributing to that goal. So if you - like us - find that this is an important cause to support, please help spreading the word or consider donating to Jade's wish.
Happy Holidays, and thank you.