Archive for the ‘Market Tools’ Category

Stanford University’s Annual ‘Class Day Lecture’ Highlights Social Innovation

June 27th, 2011

On Saturday June 11th, Rob Reich who is an associate professor of Political Science, faculty director of the Program in Ethics in Society and co-director of the university’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, spoke to the graduating seniors at Stanford University’s annual ‘Class Day Lecture’.

The lecture titled, “The Promise and Peril of the New Social Economy,” focused on the broad new landscape where organizations seek to produce social benefits. Reich spoke on the blurring of the boundaries between the three traditional sectors- private, public and philanthropic- and how the new social economy offers today’s graduates a host of choices in “doing good.” As Stanford’s mission is, “to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization,” Reich believes that the graduates can fulfill this mission through engaging in the new social economy.

>>> View a summary Prezi presentation here (Designed by Irene Nelson)

>>> Watch the lecture on Youtube here

>>> Read a write-up of the speech here

Help Pick the Next Unreasonables

January 27th, 2011

Can 45 entrepreneurs raise $200,000 from 1 Million Supporters in 50 Days? It’s up to you! Head to Unreasonable Finalist Marketplace and vote with your dollars for an entrepreneur you believe will change the course of history. The first 25 entrepreneurs to raise $8,000 will attend the 2011 Unreasonable Institute and receive the training, mentorship, and capital they need to take flight! >>>Visit the Marketplace

Funding Sources for Social Innovation

December 31st, 2010

Ned.com shows that there is no shortage of interest in impact investing, evident by a comprehensive list of 202 sources of funding for social innovation, social enterprises and social entrepreneurs that they’ve put together. Take a look.

NPR Video on Local Economies & Coops

December 31st, 2010

Nice hour long video by NPR’s David Brancaccio on Balle, Cleveland Coops, local economy, the concept of enough, making the economy serve the people rather than the people serving the economy. Main Street vs. Wall Street.

Crowdsourced Marketplaces – Only $250 and a huge payoff

December 31st, 2010

I just upped my pledge to $250 to put a remarkable Kickstarter project over the top. Symbionomics, stories of a new economy is high concept, with systemic change as its goal. I am a serial startup and turnaround entrepreneur with a record of seven out of eight successful companies become a professional investor (after selling several companies you realize every company is a future’s contract). I consider myself experienced, yet I have found that that Kickstarter and its crowdsourced funding peers like Indiegogo, deliver a far higher and more frequent and continuous level of emotional involvement linked to a funding commitment than I have experienced before. We, the team behind Hub Bay Area, Good Capital and Socap, have a lot to learn from them.

The Hub Bay Area has recently raised enough money from high net worth individuals and family foundations to start a seed fund for startup entrepreneurs working out of the two hubs we operate, the large and expanding one in San Francisco and the smaller one in Berkeley where we started.

That money came from people like Lloyd Elder, who built Google’s infinitely scalable server network. I met Lloyd through the remarkable Leila Janah, the globe trotting leader of Samasource. I really got to know Lloyd at a gala that featured Newark’s celebrity mayor, Cory Booker, followed up by a series of conversations at the Hub Soma where we both got comfortable with each other and our respective goals for our time, talent and financial resources. I am looking forward to what Lloyd can bring these startup entrepreneurs with his deep system thinking. Other investors in that high risk, high potential social impact startup fund were from family foundations working who have invested in our first Good Capital fund, the Social Enterprise Expansion Fund. Those new investments also were the product of long relationships that have grown in mutual trust over time.

We are doing a joint venture on the startup HubCap fund with Gray Ghost’s First Light.There are innovative crowdsourced due dilligence elements in the model Bob Patillo concieved and proved out in that model that I admit I was initially skeptical about but that proved to work. Like the best partnerships, that one has grown deeper overtime as we have looked for ways to do more things together.

We have a latent element of crowdsourced funding in our new HubCap seed fund, that my partner Tim Freundlich, a true genius, has devised using his Giving Assets platform that he spun out of Calvert. It allows for people to invest in a for profit social enterprise or donate to a non profit social enterprise and get a 35% tax deduction, based on their income. It’s a real thing of beauty in its robust flexibility. But we have no real online crowdsourcing strategy to help make that happen. We have printed up some response envelopes, but I see from my recent foray into Kickstarter and Indiegogo that some people have figured it out in a way I am only starting to glimpse.

The emotional commitment to these two startups success I have, the amount of time I have thought about them and the feeling of belonging these tiny investments have given me is something new, and powerful. I do not know how other people feel about their commitments on these platforms, but it’s something to look at closely.

At Socapeurope we plan to give awards for marketplace design, and we have been paying attention to the impact investing marketplaces that are starting to gain momentum, like Mission Markets, where one of our Good Capital companies is participating in a potential followon eight figure fund raise. A key element is how you price in mission in a way that it can stand up strongly against demands for pure financial return.

It’s clear, however, that there is something extremely powerful going on in these peer to peer, crowdsourced marketplaces where the collective intelligence of a community comes together to make something happen for raw, high concept startups with a lot of potential. I want to get smarter about this and make it a key part of what we do in Amsterdam May 30-June 1, when we go back to where the capital markets first took shape 400 years ago.