The first new word was Metabolomics, which as I understand it from Greg Cumberford, who, with Heather, leads Bent Creek after years at Gaia Herbs, is how plants metabolize genetic material. Their new plan is more dendritic than a traditionally organized business; they want to honor traditional biomedicinal wisdom rather than mine it.

For instance, it took a company they are incubating 10 years to reach an agreement with the Fijian matriarchy that controls a specific subvariety of  mangrove that has defined biomedicinal properties about how the value from the mangrove would be shared with the people who grow it. Bent Creek is building a translation model that lets that happen more easily and with less friction and also with, they hope, a reverential relationship to habitats, whether the resources come from the Eastern Band of Cherokee through a fund that was started by my partner Tom Hatley, or from a Germanic heritage like that of RSF.

Our approach at what we are calling the Symbiotic Fund seems to overlap and be synchronous, at first glance, with Greg’s at Bent Creek (Heather did not talk much). For my part, I kind of got here by accident, when I started thinking about the time bounded element of GoodCap’s first fund, the Social Enterprise Expand Fund (SEEF). An impact fund, or social venture fund, that helps its portfolio companies build in mission insurance runs the risk of being extractive if it has a prescribed five to seven year timeline in which it needs to get all of its money out of a company, but it can deliver dividend like, or royalty income within that seven year time frame. I still like a 14 year time horizon because it it not completely open ended but lets investors get out, perhaps with something like a seven year “pre nup” equivalent and then decide again in seven more years.

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