A quick note on my decision to join Grit Ventures, an early stage deep tech fund focused on innovation in AI, Robotics, and Energy.
I grew up in small Town Texas. I love Texas, in fact, which is why I have chosen to step up and do what I can to drive toward a better future for all Texans. Invest my full efforts towards innovation, into fueling the next wave of growth in Texas, and across America.
There are major changes happening here in Texas. One third of the Texas economy is wrapped up in oil and gas. Oil and gas is now, officially, an industry in consolidation. The traditional “majors” — Exxon, Chevron, BP, and others — are being challenged. They have been surpassed in size and growth potential by a new breed of energy major, out of Europe and rooted in clean energy. This has been a long time coming, and COVID just sealed the deal.
On top of this economic challenge, Texas — were we a country — would be the 7th largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. We are doing America’s bidding, and it is changing our climate in ways we cannot fully understand. This is top of mind for many Texans now, after living through the “once in a lifetime” storm that dumped 20 inches of snow on a normally moderate climate, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come.
It’s time for a change. We must look toward the future. Innovate. Find new growth avenues through which to channel our immense resources, capital, enterprise and talent. Change breeds challenge, yes, but also opportunity. We have a window here to make intelligent, data driven decisions about where we focus our attention. Texas, and more broadly — America.
That is what Grit Ventures is all about. Embracing innovation at its root — the universities — and rolling up our sleeves to commercialize new technology, deep technology, and integrate with industry. Labs to launch, nationwide. New businesses, and entirely new industries.
Robotics, AI and Energy — the technological infrastructure where Grit invests — are the lines by which all industry must innovate. This is how our national innovation competitiveness will be measured. We focus our attention accordingly, on core industries across America: Construction, Manufacturing, Logistics, Health Care and on. Technologies that will employ Americans, all while allowing machines to do the hard work — the work humans shouldn’t be doing. The Robotic Revolution is officially here.
Robotics also presents a unique, important opportunity to recirculate legacy industry — the hard assets, manufacturing capacity, engineering talent, infrastructure, and capital that is looking for a new home. A discrete adjacency through which to bridge old to new, legacy to growth. To create jobs that put to work the talents of both urban and rural. To drive America into the future.
We at Grit take our responsibility in shaping the future very seriously, and as such, orient ourselves to positive world impact. We believe all investing is impact investing. Should you invest with a negative impact, consider it investment risk. It’s a whole new world out there, and we intend to protect it.
On that note — diversity drives value, both social and economic. We know this to be true. The universities are home to both deep innovation and a diverse, educated talent base. Diversifying the roots of these new economic pathways is fundamental to diversifying the broad economic networks that result. Imagine where we would be if the beginnings of Information Technology had enjoyed such a focus?
We are working to build toward a better future. Bridging between old and new, high technology and big industry, academia and enterprise, and driving forward the change that America needs. The opportunity has no limits, extending into the reaches of space and beyond. What a time to be alive.
“Grit is passion and perseverance for long term goals.” — Angela Lee Duckworth, TEDTalk.