Five Years of Giving Back: Celebrating LiveOak Ventures’ $1M of Grants with LiveOak Gives

In the midst of recognizing 25 years of successful, early-stage investing in Texas by LiveOak Ventures’ founding partners, the firm celebrates a very special milestone within its community-focused initiative — the LiveOak Gives program. Since its inception 5 years ago, the program has now disbursed over $1 million in grants to 20 outstanding local non-profit organizations, reflecting LiveOak’s deep commitment to the ethos that the “rising tide should raise all boats” and not just the tech community.

In line with this ethos, the LiveOak Gives program leverages the scale of the LiveOak network to support local non-profit organizations that focus on the vulnerable populations across Texas in three categories: children, the elderly, and families/women trapped in poverty. As such, the program looks to enable inclusive growth in the broader community, especially organizations that are doing powerful work locally and poised to scale and thus embody the spirit and resilience of Texas.

The LiveOak Gives program selects organizations through an application process that looks for alignment with the firm’s values and priorities around supporting vulnerable groups and the ability for the grant to make a material difference in the magnitude of services and capabilities of the organization. In addition to the monetary benefits of the grant, these organizations also gain recognition and advocacy through several avenues. Their work is amplified via LiveOak’s social media channels which enables them to be spotlighted in local publications and also in community events where they can engage with the LiveOak network. These efforts have often led to subsequent manifold support for these organizations, which include additional monetary contributions, more volunteers, and community advocacy in general. As such, the goal of this program has been to deliver an impact to these organizations that is far greater than the $1M in grants over the 5 years. We are proud to have seen that come to fruition in numerous instances. 

This year’s campaign has supported the following organizations.

Age of Central Texas is a center designed for seniors who need help managing daily activities during the day or are at risk of feeling isolated and lonely. The center enables older adults to socialize with peers while receiving the care they need daily. Then they return to the comfort and familiarity of home at night with their family.

Chariot enriches lives and communities by providing transportation and socialization to non-driving seniors, helping them to age in place. Volunteer drivers provide rides for adults 60 and over for medical appointments, grocery shopping, and other necessary errands. 

Friends of Children connects children with unique talents to a paid, professional mentor called a Friend. They hire and train friends whose full-time jobs support our youth in succeeding despite the extremely challenging situations most experience, from as early as age 4 through high school graduation.

Women’s Fund was founded in 2004 to focus on the needs of women in Central Texas and a strong belief that investing in women has significant ripple effects in the community.  The Women’s Fund makes nonprofit grants in housing, education, child care, and women’s health to support women’s economic security in Central Texas.

LiveOak Scholars is an exciting proprietary initiative being launched by LiveOak Ventures to support and empower Texas high school seniors interested in studying business or STEM fields at a Texas university. The team at LiveOak, and others in the portfolio, will be actively involved in the selection and ongoing mentoring of the awardees. The process is facilitated through the Austin Community Foundation (ACF), and students can indicate their interest in the LiveOak Scholars program while applying. By investing in the future of Texas high school seniors, LiveOak is continuing to commit to the long-term prosperity of the local community. 

From the program’s inception to this fifth-year milestone, the LiveOak Gives program is proud to have supported these organizations that are already making a significant difference in the community.

A Heartfelt Thank You

This program wouldn’t be possible without the consistent generous support of Joe Aragona, Jim Breyer, and John & Erin Thornton, alongside numerous current and former CEOs and founders within our portfolio and the broader LiveOak family. Their steadfast support and collaboration have been crucial to the growth and instrumental in scaling this program to make a significant impact.

We warmly invite all of you to remain involved and informed about our endeavors to enrich the community by visiting our website and following us on social media. Together, we are building a legacy that touches lives and uplifts spirits.