November 23, 2021 – Daversa Partners has launched Dreamscape, a business unit dedicated to advancing black representation on the boards and executive teams of companies and investing firms in technology. To lead the business, Daversa has named industry veteran Clinton Browning as its newest partner and head of Dreamscape.
“In the 30 years since I have been working in executive search, this has been the most impactful initiative and largest standalone division that Daversa Partners has ever built,” said founder and CEO Paul Daversa. “Dreamscape is intently focused on industry-wide equity and transformation. By working in partnership with CEOs, founders and investors who are committed to making sure that there is black representation at the leadership level, we believe that Dreamscape can serve as a catalyst for change within the most important tech companies of our generation,”
Modern technology is one of the greatest opportunities for wealth creation and societal impact — with most of the financial returns accruing to the founders, early employees, board directors and investors in the breakout start-ups from each generation, said Daversa Partners. “Moreover, diverse executive teams and boards of directors lead to better results — they drive higher returns, decrease risk, and increase key performance metrics,” the firm said. “However, black executives have largely not been afforded the same opportunities in tech start-ups and venture capital.”
In 2020, Paul Daversa and the rest of the Daversa team considered ways the firm could uniquely and effectively make an impact on this urgent issue. The result was Dreamscape, which connects well-established members of start-ups and venture capital firms that are looking for executives or board directors with accomplished, proven, board-ready black talent.
Mr. Browning’s 25-plus years career in search started at Korn Ferry where he helped develop and scale the diversity practice on a global scale. In addition, Mr. Browning is an entrepreneur, a builder, and an advocate, having founded two boutique search firms dedicated to placing diverse talent.
Join Daversa Partners on January 12th for an interactive webinar supported by Hunt Scanlon Media. The session will focus on Dreamscape, a newly launched business unit of Daversa Partners dedicated to advancing Black representation on the boards and executive teams of companies and investing firms in technology.
“Dreamscape was built on the premise that the tech community does not, in fact, have a pipeline or scarcity issue – but rather it suffers from an access problem to diverse leaders,” said Clinton Browning, head of Dreamscape.
“Dreamscape was built on the premise that the tech community does not, in fact, have a pipeline or scarcity issue – but rather it suffers from an access problem to diverse leaders,” said Mr. Browning. “Daversa Partners is the only company I have met that demonstrated access at scale, created by 18 months of disciplined and focused relationship building in the black community.”
Clint Browning is responsible for leading Daversa’s business unit, Dreamscape, which is dedicated to ensuring there is Black representation on the boards and executive teams of companies and investing firms in technology. Knowing that Black executives have largely not been afforded the same opportunities in tech startups and venture capital, Dreamscape and the rest of the Daversa team considered ways the firm could effectively make an impact on this issue. The result was Dreamscape, which connects well-established members of startups and venture capital firms that are looking for executives or board directors with accomplished, proven and board-ready Black talent.
Dreamscape’s network consists of more than 3,000 connections and its early partners include mission driven companies such as Brex, Robinhood, AppLovin, and venture capital firms such as Venrock and Greylock Partners, all of whom have hired board members or executives through Dreamscape.
Henriquie Dubugras, co-CEO of San Francisco-based Brex, a financial services company, said that the mission of the team at Daversa and Dreamscape to connect extraordinary black talent with growing companies resonated very clearly with her business.
“Diverse perspectives are critical for all companies, and there is exceptional talent in the market that the team at Dreamscape is well equipped to network and place in impactful roles,” he said. “The recent addition of Thasunda Brown Duckett to our board of directors is proof that with focus, time and attention, meaningful placements can be made that benefit the entire industry.”
A New Twist on Recruiting Diverse Teams Across the Technology Ecosystem
Everyone wants to diversify their executive teams. But according to one top search firm, it is a growing requirement for technology businesses. Three leaders in the space – Lindsay Angelillo, managing director of executive search firm Daversa Partners; Yvette Pasqua, CTO of EXOS; and Christina Wick, vice president of engineering at Vista, address how to help deliver change with speed and efficiency.
“Daversa should be applauded for their early investment and commitment in Dreamscape to build the knowledge base and network that will transform Silicon Valley,” said Sharah Marwah, talent partner at Palo Alto, CA-based Venrock, a venture capital firm. “We are honored and incredibly excited by our partnership. We have made multiple board and executive level placements in the Venrock portfolio this year. At Venrock we believe that building diverse teams builds better companies. We’re dedicated to investing in not only increased access to diverse candidate pools and black representation, but also to the path it takes to get there.”
Holly Rose Faith, executive talent partner at Menlo Park, CA-headquartered investment firm Greylock said that because her company is passionate about helping to close the network gap between diverse communities and the venture capital world, working with Dreamscape was a natural partnership.
“The issue of the lack of black leadership on boards and executive teams is not a pipeline problem—it’s a network access problem,” she said. “There is plenty of incredible black talent out there ready to serve on boards and lead teams. Our shared goal with Dreamscape is to have more black representation in venture firms and startups, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership.”
Growth Stage and VC Recruiters
Daversa Partners, founded in 1993, builds executive teams for growth stage and venture backed companies. Its global footprint spans two continents and eight offices, giving its teams visibility into the entirety of the market. Daversa is dedicated to developing meaningful relationships with entrepreneurs, executives and investors across consumer and enterprise businesses. In addition to its primary location in Westport, Conn., the firm has offices in New York; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, FL; London; and Waterford, Conn. where the firm maintains a data and people analytics facility.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media