Mitch Kapor is a pioneer of the personal computing industry and long-time startup investor. He founded Lotus Development Corporation and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the “killer application” which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980s. He is the co-founder of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects freedom and privacy on the Internet and served as the founding Chair of Mozilla, creator of the Firefox web browser. His successful early investments in the Internet sector, and in streaming media and virtual reality earned him a reputation for seeing around corners. Along with his wife Freada Kapor Klein, for the past decade at Kapor Capital Mitch has developed a vision and practice of investing in tech startups which close gaps of access, opportunity or outcome for low-income communities and communities of color and on founders from underrepresented groups. Through the work of the Kapor Center, Mitch and Freada take a comprehensive approach to removing barriers in education and the workplace for all and fixing the leaks at every stage of the tech pipeline. Mitch serves on the board of SMASH, a non-profit founded by Freada to help underrepresented scholars hone their STEM knowledge while building the networks and skills for careers in tech and the sciences. “Genius,” Mitch likes to say, “is evenly distributed by Zip Code, but opportunity is not.”
PAC+ Presents! Mitch Kapor
PAC+ Presents! featured social justice philanthropist, entrepreneur, and technology pioneer and visionary Mitch Kapor who founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Lotus 1-2-3 in conversation with author, radio host, and PAC+ Board member Aimee Allison in front of a live audience.
Ear to the Ground Project
Ear to the Ground Project was financially supported by the Center for Third World Organizing, the Movement Strategy Center, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, the Common Counsel Foundation, the Solidago Foundation, Steven Phillips and Susan Sandler, Quinn Delaney, and Connie Cagampang Heller & Jonathan Cagampang Heller.
The largest single donor, with contributions totaling $250,000, was Susan Sandler. She and her husband, Steve Phillips, founded the Sandler Phillips Center, which advises donors to progressive politicians on how to maximize the impact of their contributions.
A PAC disclosure initially reporting that a $100,000 contribution came from Phillips was later amended to say that it came from Sandler.
Sandler contributed to the pro-Jealous PAC because Jealous “has been a national social justice leader and anti-poverty crusader for decades,” said Emi Gusukuma, the center’s executive vice president.
Gusukuma said Sandler also liked Jealous’s work advocating in Maryland and elsewhere on behalf of “the Dream Act, marriage equality and ending the death penalty,” as well as increasing voter participation among racial minorities.
Another donor, Mitch Kapor, is managing partner of the venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where Jealous is also a partner.
Kapor, founder of the Lotus computer software company, said it’s rare for him to give money to a PAC because, in general, “Politics is broken and the funding is broken.” He made an exception in this case, donating $50,000 to the pro-Jealous PAC, because of his personal familiarity with Jealous and because Phillips, a friend, asked him to do so.
Kapor Capital team
- Mitch Kapor, Partner
- Freada Kapor Klein, Partner
- Benjamin Jealous, Partner
- Brian Dixon, Partner
- Ulili Onovakpuri, Partner
- Carolina Huaranca, Principal
- Jorge Davy-Mendez, Associate
- Fatima Loeliger, Portfolio Services Director
- Democratic Underground.com, Jan-01-06
- Ear to the Ground, About, accessed Nov. 12, 2015
- [https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/whos-giving-big-bucks-to-boost-ben-jealous-rich-california-liberals-and-unions-mostly/2018/06/23/a1dfcab2-75c9-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html?utm_term=.e7558c00d511 WaPOWho’s giving big bucks to boost Ben Jealous? Rich California liberals and unions, mostly.By Robert McCartney June 23 2018]