A Hot Stock Leads to a Philanthropy
(Bloomberg View) -- Jean Case says she didn't think things would play out this way: She never expected to be part of one of the best performing stock of the 1990s (America Online), or become a philanthropist committed to giving away the wealth she accumulated with her husband Steve Case, a founder of AOL.
The couple created the Case Foundation in 1997, where she serves as chief executive officer. They later joined the Giving Pledge, started by Melinda and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. The Cases were named as one of the "25 best givers" by Barron’s. Case also serves as chairman of National Geographic, which has a $1.3 billion endowment.
Case explained that the Case Foundation’s goal is to “invest in people and ideas that can change the world.” She pointed to some surprising statistics on start-ups and venture funding: only 10 percent of start-ups had a female founder, and only 1 percent had an African-American; 78 percent of venture capital went to just three states: New York, Massachusetts and California.
Next week, we speak with Greg Sands, founder of Costanoa Ventures Capital Partners LLC, and the first product manager at Netscape Communications Corp., where he wrote the initial business plan and coined the name Netscape.
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Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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