Founder’s Statement.


Swimming Upstream

I am an African American male, born and raised in the Southern United States – now living in Silicon Valley. By most measures in this country, I am a minority. As such, I personally experience both direct and indirect forms of race-based discrimination every day. I’ve had these experiences for as long as I can remember, regardless of geographic location, educational or professional achievements, job title, or financial status. 

I’ve rarely spoken about this topic, because as a solution-oriented leader, I’ve struggled with how best to drive the kind of change I want to see for my community. But as I reflected on my career, I recognized that the conscious coordination of education, targeted capital resources, and an active support network can help level the playing field against biases. I’ve been very fortunate to have access to each of these tools throughout my life, but I’m acutely aware that most individuals in my community do not. I personally know entrepreneurs that do not.  

A Trickle Becomes a River 

It is extremely difficult to find and gain access to tools for startup growth if your professional environment is filled with hidden bias, severely limits your general access to capital, remains ignorant to the advantages of team diversity, and lacks investors and stakeholders that look like you. I simply wish to make it possible for minorities to walk through the same doors of opportunity which are held open for the privileged members of our society. This is the inspiration for Tributaries Capital. 

“He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American…without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.” W. E. B. Du Bois

Getting Capital Flowing 

Our operating theory is to use capital, education, and a network of experts to level the playing field of entrepreneurship. In our first stage of development, we hope to prove the model at scale, validating that we can reliably generate the same (or perhaps better) outcomes for minority founders compared to non-minority investments. To do so, we will focus on early-stage, minority founders building supply chain and real estate SaaS and services companies.

Why these domains? Having spent my entire career in the supply chain ecosystem – from supplier management to inventory and warehousing real estate – this is the realm I know best. (Certainly, I am aware of its unique challenges, but also the key inlets for technological disruption.) Additionally, as COVID-19 forces companies of all sizes to reevaluate their global supply chains and adjust to become more nimble, innovation in this area will be the only route to survival.

My individual investments have bred a track record of success in the residential real estate market, and a deep understanding of the ecosystem surrounding the sourcing and closing of real estate deals. If you’ve ever purchased a home or commercial property, you know that going from “For Sale” to “Sold” is a complex process. Tributaries Capital partners believe the need to bring order to this chaos constitutes a ripe opportunity for innovation.

For now, we will focus on the founders who are leading the charge in both spaces, through innovative applications and disruptive operational services.

My Deep Personal Commitment 

As the founding partner, I have pledged my own funds and expertise to Capital. In parallel, my partners and I are actively fundraising to bring our mission to life on a large scale. In the end, we know that minority founders and their communities won’t be the only people to benefit from this work. The entire business community and consumers across the world will be bettered by the products, services, and point of view grown at Tributaries Capital. 

If you are interested in becoming a partner, drop us a line.

Kenny Coleman

Founding Partner