At One Way Ventures, we invest in exceptional immigrant founders. We believe immigration naturally self-selects for the entrepreneurial-minded, and that the experience itself prepares founders for the parallel hardships that accompany entrepreneurship. And while immigrants only make up 13% of the U.S. population, they start 24% of high-tech startups, and founded or co-founded 55% of America’s billion-dollar startups. Because of this, it is our thesis that immigrant founders have a competitive advantage when it comes to building high-impact, globally-reaching companies.
We also fundamentally believe in equality of opportunity, and we recognize the playing field is not level in this regard. We believe in immigrants, and we know they have the grit and resilience necessary in order to prosper, but are often hindered by artificial barriers. So in 2019, we set out to impact immigrants who have not had the same opportunities as the founders we invest in. In partnership with the Boston Foundation, we created and launched the One Way Foundation.
The One Way Foundation focuses on identifying and supporting nonprofit organizations that serve immigrants and their communities on a local, national, and international level. We are committed to supporting a variety of organizations without regard to a particular geographic location. Our focus is on building a world full of opportunity and support regardless of borders or national origin. The One Way Foundation is housed as a donor-advised fund at The Boston Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. We encourage our investors, partners, and team members to engage with this effort and contribute to this important initiative.
(Note: The One Way Foundation is a separate fund from One Way Ventures. The Partners at One Way Ventures have pledged to donate a portion of the fund profits to the One Way Foundation).
Our first grantees from the One Way Foundation included the following:
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project: PAIR provides free immigration services to indigent asylum seekers and detained immigrants, assuring fairness and access to justice.
English for New Bostonians: English for New Bostonians creates opportunities for immigrants to learn English and pursue their educational, economic and civic aspirations, funding high-quality English language learning programs, conducting community and policy research, and advocating for English language learning programs.
HIAS: For more than a century, HIAS has protected the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom. It also advocates for the protection of refugees and assure that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve.
American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Doctors without Borders: An independent, global movement providing medical aid where it’s needed most, Doctors Without Borders works globally in conflict zones, after natural disasters, during epidemics, and in long-term care settings, serving millions of people annually.