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Building a Better Future: Kt McBratney on Diversity, Inclusion, and Purpose

In Today’s Episode of Superpowers for Good, I Sit Down with Kt McBratney From Renew Venture Capital to Discuss the Importance of Diversity and Inclusive Investment Practices

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Devin: What do you see as your superpower? 

Kt: I would say curiosity.

In today’s episode, I had the pleasure of hosting Kt McBratney, General Partner and Head of Community at Renew Venture Capital. Kt's journey is nothing short of inspiring, having transitioned from journalism to non-profits, brand marketing, and early-stage startups. Their path led them to co-found Own Trail and ultimately join Renew VC, where they focus on backing diverse founders and purpose-driven businesses.

One of the key ideas we delved into during the interview is the importance of supporting diverse founders as a crucial aspect of social impact investing. Kt eloquently explained, “From a business perspective, there's data. It's data-backed that diverse-led startups, women-founded, and companies led by people of color perform well and often overperform compared to their white male counterparts.” This insight highlights the dual benefit of driving social change while also achieving strong financial returns.

Kt shared their perspective on the limitations of traditional venture capital and the innovative concept of “Purpose Rounds” that Renew VC champions. Purpose Rounds democratize investment opportunities by allowing both accredited and non-accredited investors to participate, thereby expanding access to capital for historically excluded founders. As Kt noted, “It’s not just Wall Street or accredited investors who already have the financial wealth and privilege to invest and participate in the financial upside of a company. But how can you open up that to Main Street investors?”

Throughout our conversation, it became clear that Kt’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is deeply personal and integral to their work at Renew VC. Their dedication to challenging systemic inequities and fostering a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem is truly inspiring. 

Renew VC’s no-warm-intro policy, which allows any entrepreneur to pitch without needing an insider connection, is a testament to its commitment to equity. This approach ensures that talented founders from all backgrounds have an equal opportunity to succeed.

In summary, today’s episode with Kt McBratney sheds light on the vital role of diversity in driving both social impact and business success. Their work at Renew Venture Capital exemplifies how purpose-driven investment can create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

AI Episode Summary

1. Kt McBratney shared her unconventional career path leading to her role at Renew Venture Capital, highlighting her background in journalism, nonprofits, and early-stage startups.

2. At Renew VC, the focus is on social impact investments and supporting diverse founders, including women and minorities, which aligns with Kt's personal values and experiences.

3. Kt emphasized the importance of integrating profit with purpose, challenging traditional models by aiming to create scalable, sustainable businesses led by historically excluded founders.

4. Kt and her team believe in backing diverse founders, presenting data that shows such startups often outperform those led by their white male counterparts.

5. Kt noted the democratization of VC access by eliminating the need for warm introductions, allowing anyone to pitch through a straightforward online form.

6. The conversation highlighted "Purpose Rounds," which democratize investment opportunities by allowing non-accredited investors to participate alongside accredited ones.

7. Kt pointed out the benefits of having a capital mix for businesses, emphasizing that venture capital is one of many funding options available to different kinds of ventures.

8. She underscored the importance of curiosity as a superpower in her career, using it to ask questions, connect with people, and solve problems innovatively.

9. Kt shared practical advice for harnessing curiosity, such as reading diverse materials and taking time away from screens to allow the brain to process information creatively.

10. Kt invited listeners to connect with Renew Venture Capital and herself via their website and LinkedIn, encouraging engagement and dialogue within the community.


How to Develop Curiosity As a Superpower

Superpower Summary

Kt McBratney's superpower is curiosity. They have an innate drive to ask questions, seek understanding, and explore new ideas and perspectives. This relentless curiosity has guided their non-linear career path, allowing them to connect with people authentically, understand complex systems, and uncover new possibilities for innovation and impact.

Illustrative Anecdote

During a recent event with Techstars in Atlanta, Kt demonstrated their superpower of curiosity. They engaged with a founder who had an unexpected meeting with a certain type of customer. By asking probing questions like "Why didn't you expect it?" and "What new right thing did you learn from this?" Kt quickly connected the founder to a potentially valuable contact. This story illustrates how Kt’s curiosity leads to meaningful connections and opportunities.

Tips for Developing Curiosity as a Superpower

1. Read Widely: Diversify your reading materials. If you typically read fiction, try non-fiction or poetry, and vice versa.

2. Take Breaks from Screens: Give your brain some liminal space by stepping away from screens. This can help you notice patterns and generate new ideas.

3. Embrace Humility: Approach situations with the mindset that you don’t know everything and use this as a foundation for asking questions and learning.

4. Create Liminal Spaces: Engage in activities that allow your mind to wander, such as taking a shower or doing dishes. These moments can lead to great ideas.

By following Kt McBratney’s example and advice, you can make curiosity a skill. With practice and effort, you could make it a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

Guest Profile

Kt McBratney (I use both she/her and they/them ):

General Partner and Head of Community, Renew Venture Capital

About Renew Venture Capital: Renew Venture Capital produces excess returns for investors and changes inefficient, ineffective, and exclusionary systems for better outcomes. We are a community of founders and investors united by our theses: 1. Companies generating impact at scale represent one of the biggest investment opportunities in VC, and 2. Ignoring companies led by women, and overlooked and excluded founders is VC’s biggest recurring investment error. We support this community through different financing mechanisms: our venture studio Pixel Recess, our Strategic Impact Fund, and financing growth-stage fundraising to accredited and non-accredited investors up to $100M+. From early-stage to large-scale funding, we engage with founders and investors at every step.


X/Twitter Handle: @renew_vc

Company Facebook Page:


Instagram Handle: @renewvc

Biographical Information: Kt McBratney is obsessed with disrupting the status bro. As a General Partner and Head of Community at Renew VC, she’s passionate about shifting how we invest in and build companies toward putting more good in the world. She brings her experience as a founder, operator and longtime marketing leader to her work, overseeing the experience for portfolio companies and investors across financing mechanisms and stages.

Kt’s previous roles include co-founder and chief community officer at OwnTrail (acquired 2023) and CMO of acclaimed crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark. Her work has been featured in the BBC, USA Today, Forbes, Variety, Business Insider and more. She is a frequent public speaker and podcast guest on entrepreneurship, human-centered leadership and the power of community. She is also a parent, writer, and artist who believes there is no such thing as too many books.

X/Twitter Handle: @k_to_the_t

Instagram Handle: @k_to_the_t

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