Finding free money for your social impact startup – TechSwitch

    David Teten is an advisor to rising funding managers and a Venture Partner with HOF Capital. He was beforehand a companion for 8 years with HOF Capital and ff Venture Capital. David writes frequently at and @dteten.

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    Congratulations; you’ve determined to launch a technology-enabled startup with a constructive social impression! Nearly each main Silicon Valley venture-capital agency has now invested in a B Corp; perhaps you’ll be one among them!
    The unhealthy information: some enterprise capitalists have a bias in opposition to startups with an specific constructive social impression on the grounds that they’ve a smaller addressable market, and that the founders will not be sufficiently targeted on creating shareholder wealth. And in fact, successfully all enterprise capitalists are going to require some fairness for his or her funding.
    Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations that particularly need to assist you, not simply the VC group. I’m now researching non-dilutive funding for Action Tank, a startup I’m gestating to “Make America Functional Again.” I labored with outsourced analysis agency Wonder* to determine all the establishments we might who assist tech impression startups with money and group, and in lots of circumstances with out dilution.  I emphasize my focus right here is organizations that are backing for-profit firms and don’t take fairness. If you suppose I’ve missed any, please contact me.
    I recommend begin by trying on the many applications provided by the Fortune 500’s startup networks. In addition, there are various different teams gives you money, coaching, and group with few or no strings connected:
    Ashoka is a basis that engages in scouring for and selecting the main social entrepreneurs throughout the globe, who it refers to as Ashoka Fellows.
    Aspen Tech Policy Hub. “Our program mixes one of the best of each Washington and Silicon Valley, bringing collectively stakeholders in coverage and expertise to coach the subsequent technology of coverage entrepreneurs. The Aspen Tech Policy Hub is a West Coast coverage incubator, coaching a brand new technology of tech coverage entrepreneurs. We take tech consultants, educate them the coverage course of by an in-residence fellowship program within the Bay Area, and encourage them to develop outside-the-box options to society’s issues. We mannequin ourselves after tech incubators like Y Combinator, however practice new coverage thinkers and focus the impression of their concepts.
    Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellowship. “Since 2011, the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellowship has supported the work of 36 innovators—representing the United States as well as 18 other countries on five continents—who address pressing global issues, from healthcare delivery to college persistence and sustainable construction in developing nations.  From the beginning, the BHSI Fellowship has created meaningful, customized experiences for Fellows with connections to influential business and civic leaders, exposure to a broad audience as a speaker at Chicago Ideas, and over $3 million in financial support and in-kind contributions.”
    The Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund for Entrepreneurial Studies. “The Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund for Entrepreneurial Studies helps entrepreneurs making an attempt to construct one thing that advances enterprise and society in revolutionary methods. “
    Columbia Business School Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. Requires Columbia affiliation.
    Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation identifies entrepreneurs that show traits of “exceptional social leadership through discretion, influence, vision, ambition, intelligence, and follow-through.” 
    DV Hacks, led by BCG Digital Ventures: “A 48-hour hackathon to improve how we live, work, collaborate, and learn.”
    Echoing Green is a basis that distinguishes transformational leaders by way of its fellowships. Their foci embrace addressing environmental sustainability, racial and gender fairness, financial growth considerations, and many others.
    Future Labs Flash Pitch. “For pre-seed and seed companies based in the U.S. and Israel with a focus on AI for social impact,” 
    Google AI for Social Good. “Our 20 chosen organizations will obtain teaching from Google’s AI consultants, grant funding from a $25 million pool, and credit and consulting from Google Cloud. They can even be provided the chance to hitch a personalized 6-month Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator program, together with steering from our nonprofit companion, DataKind, to jumpstart their work. We appeared for tasks throughout a variety of social impression domains and ranges of technical experience, from organizations which can be skilled in AI to these with an concept for a way they might put their information to raised use. “
    Google for Startups Accelerator. “Geared towards social impression startups working to create a more healthy and extra sustainable future, the accelerator supplies entry to coaching, merchandise and technical assist. Startup founders will work with Google engineers and obtain mentoring from over 20 groups at Google, in addition to outdoors consultants and native mentors.  
    J.M.Kaplan Innovation Prize. “The J.M.Ok. Innovation Prize seeks out innovators who’re spearheading transformative early-stage tasks within the fields of the setting, heritage conservation, and social justice. The J.M.Ok. Innovation Prize is open to nonprofit and mission-driven for-profit organizations which can be tackling America’s most urgent challenges by social innovation. In 2019, we’ll award as much as ten prizes, every together with a money award of $150,000 over three years, plus $25,000 for challenge bills, for a complete award of $175,000. 
    Kairos Fellows. “The Kairos Fellowship is designed to build the next generation of leaders in the field of technology, analytics, digital campaigning, and online organizing.”
    MIT Solve initiative. “MIT Solve advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing problems. Solve is a marketplace for social impact: we find tech entrepreneurs from around the world and broker partnerships across our community to scale their innovative work — driving lasting, transformational change.”
    Mulago Foundation Rainer Arnhold Fellowship. “The course brings Fellows and faculty together for an intensive week to work on design for maximum impact and scalability. Held in a retreat center on the coast in Bolinas, California, the course gives Fellows the rare opportunity to focus completely on their ideas and a systematic way to apply them.”
    Bloomberg New Economy Forum Solutions. “Mike Bloomberg announces an open call for solutions to global challenges facing the new economy. Entrepreneurs, academics, founders, and big thinkers are invited to submit their solutions to societal problems that need momentum, support, and adoption from the private sector.”
    Notley Ventures. “Notley is a catalyst for social innovation unlocking opportunities with today’s impact organizations and changing communities.  Our mission is to scale and support businesses, nonprofits, individuals, and programs making positive change in the world.” 
    Recurse Center. “The Recurse Center is a self-directed, community-driven educational retreat for people who want to get better at programming.”
    Skoll Foundation. “The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems.”
    Summit Fellows. “Through a series of invitation-only events, Summit fosters a global community of entrepreneurs, academics, athletes, artists, astronauts, authors, chefs, engineers, explorers, philanthropists, spiritual leaders, scientists, and beyond.”
    Thiel Fellowship. “Founded by technology entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel in 2011, the Thiel Fellowship is a two-year program for young people [under 22] who want to build new things. Thiel Fellows skip or stop out of college to receive a $100,000 grant and support from the Thiel Foundation’s network of founders, investors, and scientists.” “Get funding and guidance for your project.  Pioneer is a weekly contest for creative people around the world making their ideas become real.  Winners get $7000, a round-trip ticket to Silicon Valley, access to world-class mentorship, and more.”
    Roddenberry Foundation Catalyst Fund. “The Catalyst Fund awards small grants for early-stage, revolutionary, and unconventional concepts that handle critical international challenges.“
    SEIF Awards Tech for Impact. The SEIF Awards goal European impression entrepreneurs who develop or make revolutionary use of applied sciences to sort out social and/or environmental challenges and contribute to the UN SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals]. Each Award grants the winners CHF 10’000. Together with our companions UBS and PwC we offer finalists a novel alternative to extend their worldwide consciousness, acquire fame and current themselves to a top-class jury.
    Three dot sprint. “Powers the most influential social entrepreneurs between the ages of 13 -19, who have found a solution or innovation to address a basic human need.” 
    YC120 (a part of Y Combinator). “We’d like to seek out extra curious, inventive people who find themselves doing thrilling work in rising fields and provides them a chance to start out constructing their community. “
    VentureCrush FG.  Pando Daily wrote: “VentureCrushFG takes no equity, there is no co-working space, and no demo day. The application process is not advertised. Most applicants come from referrals.” “VentureCrushFG[‘s]…stellar reputation among founders and investors is due, in part, to the success of its most high-flying companies.” “If anything, it’s more of a community than an accelerator, a way to keep a strong network of alumni, mentors and investors connected. Between one and two hundred techies are part of the group, including founders, execs, 40 to 50 VCs and a few dozen angel investors.””
    We Company Creator Awards. “This global competition is open to entrepreneurs, performers, startups, and nonprofits-anyone who embodies our mantra, Create Your Life’s Work.”
    World Summit Awards for Young Innovators. “WSA Young Innovators is a special recognition for young social entrepreneurs under 30 years of age, using ICTs to take action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Together with the WSA winners of each year, they are honored as outstanding digital innovation with social impact.”
    You might also need to take a look at product-based crowdfunding, e.g., Indiegogo*. Other conventional choices for non-dilutive financing embrace grants, loans, SBIR, STTR, vouchers and tax credit, embrace:
    You’re eligible for the numerous accelerators, in addition to particularly the impression accelerators. See Conveners Impact Accelerator Selection Tool. Some particular accelerators:
    There are many VCs who’ve a said concentrate on social impression; for full lists see Impact Capital Managers and InvestorFlow. Oliver Libby, Managing Partner, H/L Ventures, notes, “it is important to remember that impact funders occupy the same spectrum of returns as regular investors.  From 100% loss capital (e.g. a grant) to shooting for massive returns (some impact VCs), an entrepreneur can unlock everything in between, including first-loss capital, impact bonds, patient capital from program-related investments and families, and more.  The market is also coming to understand that high impact can sometimes come with high returns too.”   
    Rachel Butler, President, Cavendish Impact Foundation (the place I’m an advisor), talked about fiscal sponsorship as an choice. “It’s an association the place an entity in want of funding (and it may be a for-profit, social enterprise) groups up with a 501(c)(3) that has an aligned mission, and cash may be raised by the 501(c)(3) and used to assist a selected challenge being executed by the social enterprise.
    So, for instance, if the 501(c)(3) has in its mission to assist enhancing schooling, and a for-profit social enterprise is growing an app to assist enhance entry to raised schooling for individuals in underserved communities, the 501(c)(3) might assist that particular challenge. The 501(c)(3) does have to take care of discretion about how they use the funds (as a safeguard to simply having it’s an association for funneling philanthropic funds), and there are another stipulations, however in any other case it’s fairly easy.  The ‘Project’ can truly do the fundraising, as an agent of the 501(c)(3), and have the cash directed to the 501(c)(3). The challenge is normally one thing that has a reasonably brief timeframe with measurable milestones that point out progress. The 501(c)(3) additionally takes an administrative payment for his or her function within the collaboration.“
    Bill Warren, CEO of Peeps Democracy, Inc., wrote, “one other kind of funding supply for a social impression entrepreneur to consider is startup challenges/competitions at her/his alma mater. For instance, Duke sponsors a $10,000 annual prize for college kids, school, or alumni engaged on a startup within the clear power area. These prizes is usually a nice supply of non-dilutive funding for early-stage ventures and likewise supply free publicity to tutorial thought-leaders and different alumni, who may assist your startup by way of mentorship or funding. “
    Emily Rasmussen, founder & CEO of, suggests turning philanthropic donations into for-profit investments utilizing Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), that are like Health Savings Accounts for charitable giving. You make a tax deductible donation right into a DAF account, get an instantaneous tax deduction, after which donate your funds out to charities over time. In the meantime, your funds are invested to assist develop your fund, similar to an endowment. With some 501(c)(3) DAF sponsors (e.g Impact Assets), after making  a tax-deductible donation into their DAF account, donors can then advise the sponsor to speculate their charitable belongings into a selected social enterprise deal. These offers are sourced by the donor investor and any future returns return into the DAF account and can be found for future impression investments or charitable donations.
    Lastly, I recommend reviewing these hyperlinks on fundraising:
    * I’m an investor on this firm.
    Thanks to Emily Campbell, Esq., of The Campbell Firm PLLC for useful enter; she has suggested me on some authorized issues up to now.

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