Venture capital is not runway. It’s an obligation

Share This Post

Lauren “L2” Howard is a digital health strategist, mental health advocate, and women’s cheerleader. She is the CEO and founder of The High Rise by elletwo, a community that is dismantling outdated ideas of what it means to be professional. The High Rise provides a place for women and femmes to find their power alongside other amazing women at all stages of their careers. In addition, Lauren is the co-founder and CEO of FMLA MD and the CEO of Clinical Operations Group, which focuses on increasing access to quality care, reaching out to the disenfranchised, and improving care operations. 

Biggest fuck up

The worst decisions that I have ever made at the ones where I didn’t follow my gut. I chased money or a title rather than listening to what my gut was telling me about the situation. I have gotten much better at this, but it’s still a trap I fall into. My instincts have never steered me wrong, but sometimes, I WANT them to be wrong and make the wrong choice. 


There are lots of things that piss me off about both healthcare and startups in general.

First, I think in healthcare, this idea that we can fix a broken system with a different kind of bloated infrastructure and tech enablement drives me nuts. We don’t need fewer humans in healthcare; we need more. Not everything has to be about making a billion dollars and scaling scaling scaling. Doing something small really well for a population that needs it can be enough. Then, teach other people how to do it. 

Aside from the fact that most venture money goes to white men, the thing that bugs me about startups is that we act like raising money is a ticket to success and not an obligation. Venture capital is not runway. It’s an obligation. It’s something you have to pay back in some way. It’s pressure from people who may not let you run your operation in the mission-focused way you want to. Raising money doesn’t alleviate pressure. It creates new pressure. It creates literally millions of dollars worth of pressure, but we act like it’s a reason to have a party. 

Useful advice

Isolation lies.

It’s very easy to feel like everything is just you because you’re in your head, and in your head, you’re the only one. Every time I have felt that way, nearly the first person I’ve talked to has shown me that what I was feeling was nearly universal.

Isolation begets isolation and makes us chase the comfort of that place where no one knows our secrets. The times where I was certain that I was alone and no one would understand were the times that I was the most incorrect. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Is LinkedIn Becoming Worthless?

Yesterday I got a new connection on LinkedIn from...

4 Business Trends That Sucked in 2019

A lot sucked in 2019. From global catastrophes to some dubious political situations. But the business world still came through with these 4 sucky trends.

Breaking free from a lack of ambition

Five years have been lost due to not having high enough targets or realising what could be achieved.

Give it a year and you’ll be advising the United Nations

Juiced up on my own self-importance, I had an air of invincibility. I was untouchable. 

Growth, no matter what

I was making more than I had dreamed of, but I was tired, unhappy, and resentful of my business. 

Interview with a Media Consultant

This week's interviewee is Fiona Scott, a journalist and media...