This is the code of conduct for Blackbird Ventures and Startmate. Our goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for people who share our values of tolerance and inclusivity. To that end, we have adopted this code of conduct in order to support and welcome members of marginalised groups to our community, including people from marginalised racial or ethnic groups, women and non-binary people, sexual minorities including gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, and asexual people, disabled people, neurodivergent people, marginalised religious groups, higher weight people, parents and caregivers, and members of lower status (Marginalised Groups).
We expect everyone associated with Blackbird and Startmate to abide by this code of conduct, including employees, founders, funders, investors, mentors, advisors, students, volunteers, speakers, and attendees of our events. This code of conduct applies to all of these people in any setting associated with Blackbird and Startmate, including offices, work events, social outings, conferences, homes, lodging, phone calls, video conferences, emails, chat, social media, blogs, or other online communication. Blackbird and Startmate may take action against a person based on other information or behaviour outside the community if, in our judgement, there is an unacceptable risk to its membership from that person.
Comments or behaviour that discriminates against, stereotypes, or harms members of Marginalised Groups. This includes but is not limited to:
Creating a sexualised environment. This includes but is not limited to:
Sexual advances when they are clearly unwelcome, or in a context where it is difficult for the recipient to say no to your advances. Specifically, this code of conduct bans all sexual advances initiated by a person with significant power over the recipient, such as a person who influences funding decisions towards a person seeking funding, a conference organiser towards a speaker, or a coworker towards another coworker if they have influence over their career advancement. We strongly recommend that people in positions of greater power turn down sexual advances from someone they hold significant power over. Sexual advances include but are not limited to:
Sexual assault or coercion, including sexual activity under pressure or threat, for a reward, or in a context where it is difficult for the recipient to say no. This includes but is not limited to:
Harassment and stalking. Harassment and stalking includes but is not limited to:
Attempts to circumvent or weaken this code of conduct or its purpose. This includes but is not limited to:
We strongly encourage everyone to report any violations of this code of conduct to the Code of Conduct Committee. We expect people in positions of power to be especially conscientious in reporting any violations they see, with the consent of the marginalised person involved, as they are less vulnerable to retaliation or pressure than people with less power. Community members can report violations in any of the following ways:
Community members can report violations by filling in this confidential form.
We use Blackbird portfolio company Whispli, to help you anonymously submit reports involving Blackbird or Startmate, including any criminal, inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour.
From this website, you can submit anonymously any activity that you feel does not meet the values that we strive to achieve at Blackbird. Your submissions are always anonymous and we will assign your case within 2 business days to the Code of Conduct Committee that will investigate.
The code of conduct committee consists of:
If the person who violated the code of conduct is on the committee, they will recuse themselves from handling that report.
We aim to acknowledge reports within 2 business days, and to complete handling a report within 10 business days. Actions we may take in response to a report include:
If possible and appropriate, we will make a statement about the report and any actions we took available to everyone who is aware of the original incident. We strive to protect reporters or targets from retaliation whenever possible.
This code of conduct is licensed CC Zero. We appreciate if you give credit to the authors: Blackbird VC, Startmate, and Frame Shift Consulting LLC.