Startup Advisor & Investor
Twin Cities, Minnesota
Why did you decide to open a Venn Account?
I participated in some of the early pilot programs that ultimately led to the formation of Venn Foundation, and I have been impressed with how things have evolved. I view a Venn Account as a unique vehicle to help promote impact investing because it makes it really easy for my family and me to join with other philanthropists in a single charitable investment. And if the investment works, each donor gets the chance to recommend where to redeploy those funds again and again. I also love that I now have a way to use my charitable funds to invest in Twin Cities startups.
What is one Venn PRI you are proud to have supported and why?
We recently supported Venn’s PRI financing of Fair Anita. Fair Anita is a social enterprise that empowers talented yet marginalized women from around the world through dignified jobs and fair trade relationships. My wife had interacted with Fair Anita’s founder Joy while she worked on a similar concept a few years ago. We have always been impressed with the business and impact Joy has had on her community of over 8,000 women. We are excited to help in the endeavor as she’s creating a sustainable means to provide for these women and empower them to live full, independent lives. I think Fair Anita is a perfect example of how a Venn investment can participate in helping create, grow, and sustain an organization that is truly making a difference in the world.
Is there anything else you might like to share?
I think the emergence of impact investing is exciting both from an impact and an economic perspective. There is an opportunity to encourage a new type of entrepreneurship that intentionally pursues both societal good and sustainable funding and returns. As I work with startups in the Twin Cities area, more and more I find entrepreneurs looking to chase their passion and make a living while helping others. The issue is that traditional capital sources may not be willing to fund such double-bottom-line endeavors. Impact investing tools like Program-Related Investments are the perfect fit for capitalizing these kinds of startups.