Hi, my name is Jason Towns

#stillbuilding a path to capital, connections & counsel for early stage innovators

You either build or destroy...

Here's my story...

Jason Towns leads Groundwork Ventures, a global startup support organization and seed fund investing in overlooked entrepreneurs in both African and American emerging capital markets. Jason brings more than 15 years of experience in roles including tech founder, angel investor, inclusion advocate, and startup advisor. His deep experience building, sourcing & supporting seed stage startups as well as building inclusive local startup ecosystems has led to Jason launching national initiatives such as CODE2040's Entrepreneur in Residence Program, a Google-backed startup accelerator providing seed funding and support for founders from Black and Latinx communities. Throughout my 18 year career, I’ve successfully built and exited a venture backed startup, failed at creating the world’s most loved digital agency, and advised or invested in dozens of brave entrepreneurs across three continents & multiple industry verticals such as predictive analytics, big data, last mile delivery, crypto and enterprise mobile. Today, I spend alot of my time helping the top seed stage startups from diverse backgrounds access capital, connections & strategic support to grow, while enabling seed investors to build stronger, more diverse portfolios. Over the last four years, I’ve helped startups raise more than $17.5m in capital from seed stage through growth, and since 2014, valuations for companies I’ve advised have risen more than 3x. My mission is to quietly and efficiently serve founders while driving capital & resources from the west into innovation ecosystems across the globe. Outside of work in the states, I help power programs in a number of other markets including South Africa where we’ve partnered with Uncharted to form the Mzansi Commons Collective to help transform the township economies. I sit on a number of boards including Industrial Bank’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Council, the Congressional Research Institute of Social Work and Policy (CRISP) Board of Director, the Releaf Advisory Board & Jetpack’s Advisory Committee. I’m thankful that my expertise & experience has me well positioned to help those solving the problems of tomorrow, today. I’m also honored to receive professional distinctions such as The Root's list of the 100 Most Influential African Americans, The Digital Diversity Network's Change Agent Award, The Registry's 40 Under 40 in Silicon Valley, MIPAD’s 100 Most Influential People in the African Diaspora, and most recently Ebony Magazine’s 2017-2018 Power 100 list.

Check out some of my projects and passions

Screen shot 2017 11 07 at 6.47.38 am

Groundwork Ventures

Founder and Managing Partner at seed fund & entrepreneurial support network focused on supporting founders from overlooked groups.
50onfire

50 on Fire Finalist

Profiled by tech industry blog, DC Inno & selected as a finalist for the annual 50 on Fire Award.
Mit

MIT Innovations Journal

Coauthored a piece on the benefits of investing in founders with unique lived experiences. This was published in MIT's Innovations Journal.
Design 3

Google + CODE2040 Entrepreneur in Residence Program

Built and led pilot EIR program for CODE2040. This was the first Google for Entrepreneurs #NextWave partnership.
Event banner

African Economic Expansion Network (AEEN)

Assisting in the due diligence and evaluation of prospective tech & infrastructure investment opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa since 2014.
Mbk

My Brother's Keeper Hackathon

Serve as mentor for a number of Qeyno Labs youth events, including My Brother's Keeper Hackathons.
Sb50

SB50: Fair Game Sports x Tech Mixer

Planned/ hosted popup social event held at the beautiful Blab Mansion in SF during Superbowl 50 week, building connections between 125 investors, founders and pro athletes.
Yes we code 650

#YesWeCode Hackathon Winner

2014 Essence Festival hackathon mentor and team member.
15innovators

Meet 15 Black Tech Innovators Who Are Bringing Diversity to South by Southwest

Proud to have been profiled as 1 of 15 black innovators bringing diversity to SXSW '16.
Releaf new logo

Releaf - Advisory Board Member

Releaf is a web platform helping investors make smarter, faster decisions when deploying capital on the African continent.
Theroot100 wbg

#TheRoot100

Added to The Root's list of most influential African Americans in 2016.
40402

40 Under 40: Tech Diversity - Silicon Valley

Honored to join “40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” class of 2016.
Sb51

SB51: Fair Game Sports x Tech Mixer

Hosted 2nd annual Super Bowl mixer @ the Houston Museum of African American Culture
Cfp

Code for Progress - Innovation Fellowship

Selected as one of twelve (out of 426 applicants) Social Justice+Innovation Fellows, tasked with applying tech to social challenges in DC.
Header logo

Mzansi Commons

Building bridges from South African townships to the innovation ecosystem.
100

2017-2018 #EbonyPower100

Named to Ebony Magazine's Annual Power 100 list in the "Techies" category.
Hidden

Hidden Genius Project Advisory Committee

Serve as advisor, mentor & advisory committee member. Hidden Genius Project trains and mentors black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills to transform their lives and communities.
Mipad logo

I would love to hear from you

Get in touch

© 2017 Jason Towns

Created by Somebody