How a passion for trivia led a VC to a charitable cause

Amid the pandemic, David Horowitz of Touchdown Ventures helped raise money for the CDC Foundation. A year later, he’s created a new family board game.

David Horowitz, founder and chief executive of Touchdown Ventures, loves trivia and grew up playing board games. He’s also a fan of the Game Show Network and the late Alex Trebek, the longtime Jeopardy! host.

Those passions came in handy early in the pandemic last year. When Horowitz learned that funding had been cut for the CDC, he decided to use his love of gaming and create a trivia contest to raise funds for the CDC Foundation.

From April through June last year, Horowitz played host to a live trivia game online called 20 Second Trivia, in which contestants were asked 20 questions and had up to 20 seconds to answer each one. Playing the game was free and winners didn’t receive any prizes.

Horowitz thought the game would be a good distraction during the pandemic and a way for families and friends to connect virtually. “There was nothing going on and we weren’t going out,” Horowitz recalls.

The weekly trivia games grew by word of mouth, eventually attracting 100 to 150 participants per episode. Donations were not obligatory, but Horowitz raised $20,000 last year from players for the CDC Foundation to purchase personal protective equipment for first responders.

The investor now has a new gaming venture, of sorts. His lifetime hobby led him to create a new family board game called Frequent Flyer. Horowitz, like many, hasn’t traveled since the pandemic, and the game helps to fill that void by having players compete and race across the board to 20 US cities and earn frequent flyer miles.

This is an actual board game and not online, though it is available for sale at Horowitz describes the game as a great way to learn about warehousing and third-party logistics in a direct-to-consumer business. And he’s not giving up his day job at Touchdown Ventures, which works with corporates to invest in companies.

Horowitz says he began working on Frequent Flyer 15 years ago.

“Creating my own board game was always a lifelong passion for me ever since I was a child,” he says. “It was the inspiration that I got from working with founders, plus some extra time that I had on my hands due to covid that helped push me to bring this product to market.”