Finding free money for your social impact startup

David Teten is an manual to emerging funding managers and a Project Accomplice with

HOF Capital

. He changed into previously a companion for 8 years with HOF Capital and

ff Project Capital

. David writes on a smartly-liked basis at




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Congratulations; you’ve determined to originate a technology-enabled startup with a optimistic social affect! As regards to every essential Silicon Valley enterprise-capital agency has now invested in a B Corp; maybe you’re going to be one of them!

The defective recordsdata: some enterprise capitalists private a bias in opposition to startups with an inform optimistic social affect on the grounds that they’ve a smaller addressable market, and that the founders must now not sufficiently centered on creating shareholder wealth. And naturally, successfully all enterprise capitalists are going to require some equity for his or her funding.

Happily, there are a colossal selection of organizations that specifically must make stronger you, now not right form the VC community. I’m now researching non-dilutive funding for Movement Tank, a startup I’m gestating to “Make The us Functional Again.” I labored with outsourced study agency Marvel* to call the general institutions we would possibly per chance well who make stronger tech affect startups with money and community, and in quite a bit of cases with out dilution.  I emphasize my focal level right here is organizations which would possibly per chance well well be backing for-earnings corporations and halt now not take equity. Whilst you mediate I’ve uncared for any, please contact me.

I counsel launch by having a see at the rather a pair of programs supplied by the Fortune 500’s startup networks. To boot to, there are different diversified groups offers you money, practicing, and community with few or no strings hooked up:

Ashoka is a foundation that engages in scouring for and selecting the leading social entrepreneurs across the globe, who it refers to as Ashoka Fellows.

Aspen Tech Coverage Hub. “Our program mixes the perfect of both Washington and Silicon Valley, bringing together stakeholders in coverage and technology to put together the subsequent technology of coverage entrepreneurs. The Aspen Tech Coverage Hub is a West Hover coverage incubator, practicing a brand current technology of tech coverage entrepreneurs. We take tech experts, express them the coverage process thru an in-status fellowship program within the Bay Website online, and encourage them to plan launch air-the-field options to society’s problems. We mannequin ourselves after tech incubators like Y Combinator, however put together current coverage thinkers and focal level the affect of their ideas.

Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellowship. Since 2011, the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellowship has supported the work of 36 innovators—representing the US as properly as 18 diversified worldwide locations on five continents—who address urgent world problems, from healthcare provide to college persistence and sustainable construction in growing worldwide locations.  From the starting, the BHSI Fellowship has created meaningful, customized experiences for Fellows with connections to influential commercial and civic leaders, exposure to a massive target market as a speaker at Chicago Strategies, and over $3 million in financial make stronger and in-form contributions.”

The Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund for Entrepreneurial Stories. “The Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Fund for Entrepreneurial Stories helps entrepreneurs making an try to originate something that advances commercial and society in modern programs. “

Columbia Exchange College Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. Requires Columbia affiliation.

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation identifies entrepreneurs that level to traits of “distinctive social management thru discretion, influence, imaginative and prescient, ambition, intelligence, and apply-thru.” 

DV Hacks, led by BCG Digital Ventures: “A forty eight-hour hackathon to make stronger how we’re living, work, collaborate, and be taught.”

Echoing Inexperienced is a foundation that distinguishes transformational leaders via its fellowships. Their foci consist of addressing environmental sustainability, racial and gender equity, financial pattern considerations, and many others.

Future Labs Flash Pitch. “For pre-seed and seed corporations basically based solely mostly within the U.S. and Israel with a focal level on AI for social affect,” 

Google AI for Social Glorious. “Our 20 chosen organizations will obtain teaching from Google’s AI experts, grant funding from a $25 million pool, and credits and consulting from Google Cloud. They’ll additionally be supplied the alternative to join a customised 6-month Google Builders Launchpad Accelerator program, including guidance from our nonprofit companion, DataKind, to jumpstart their work. We regarded for initiatives across a model of social affect domains and phases of technical skills, from organizations which would possibly per chance well well be experienced in AI to those with an notion for how they would possibly per chance well establish their data to better expend. “

Google for Startups Accelerator. “Geared toward social affect startups working to affect a more healthy and more sustainable future, the accelerator offers access to practicing, products and technical make stronger. Startup founders will work with Google engineers and obtain mentoring from over 20 groups at Google, as properly as launch air experts and native mentors.  

J.M.Kaplan Innovation Prize. “The J.M.Ok. Innovation Prize seeks out innovators who are spearheading transformative early-stage initiatives within the fields of the atmosphere, heritage conservation, and social justice. The J.M.Ok. Innovation Prize is launch to nonprofit and mission-pushed for-earnings organizations which would possibly per chance well well be tackling The us’s most urgent challenges thru social innovation. In 2019, we’re going to award up to ten prizes, every including a money award of $150,000 over three years, plus $25,000 for project prices, for a total award of $175,000. 

Kairos Fellows. “The Kairos Fellowship is designed to originate the subsequent technology of leaders within the realm of technology, analytics, digital campaigning, and online organizing.”

MIT Resolve initiative. “MIT Resolve advances lasting options from tech entrepreneurs to address the sphere’s most urgent problems. Resolve is a market for social affect: we obtain tech entrepreneurs from spherical the sphere and broker partnerships across our community to scale their modern work — utilizing lasting, transformational trade.”

Mulago Foundation Rainer Arnhold Fellowship. “The direction brings Fellows and college together for an intensive week to work on carry out for optimum affect and scalability. Held in a retreat center on the wing in Bolinas, California, the direction offers Fellows the uncommon alternative to focal level fully on their ideas and a systematic strategy to apply them.”

Bloomberg Unusual Economy Discussion board Alternate options. “Mike Bloomberg publicizes an launch demand options to world challenges facing the present financial system. Entrepreneurs, lecturers, founders, and colossal thinkers are invited to submit their options to societal problems that need momentum, make stronger, and adoption from the interior most sector.”

Notley Ventures.Notley is a catalyst for social innovation unlocking opportunities with as of late’s affect organizations and altering communities.  Our mission is to scale and make stronger corporations, nonprofits, americans, and programs making optimistic trade within the sphere.” 

Recurse Middle. “The Recurse Middle is a self-directed, community-pushed tutorial retreat for folks that must enhance at programming.”

Skoll Foundation. “The Skoll Foundation drives neat-scale trade by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and innovators who lend a hand them solve the sphere’s most urgent problems.”

Summit Fellows. “By a set of invitation-very most sensible events, Summit fosters a world community of entrepreneurs, lecturers, athletes, artists, astronauts, authors, cooks, engineers, explorers, philanthropists, spiritual leaders, scientists, and past.”

Thiel Fellowship. “Essentially based by technology entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel in 2011, the Thiel Fellowship is a two-365 days program for younger folks [under 22] who must originate current issues. Thiel Fellows skip or discontinue out of college to obtain a $100,000 grant and make stronger from the Thiel Foundation’s community of founders, traders, and scientists.” funding and guidance on your project.  Pioneer is a weekly contest for inventive folks spherical the sphere making their ideas change into accurate.  Winners obtain $7000, a spherical-outing mark to Silicon Valley, access to world-class mentorship, and more.”

Roddenberry Foundation Catalyst Fund. “The Catalyst Fund awards cramped grants for early-stage, modern, and unconventional ideas that address severe world challenges.“

SEIF Awards Tech for Affect. The SEIF Awards target European affect entrepreneurs who plan or invent modern expend of technologies to form out social and/or environmental challenges and make contributions to the UN SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals]. Every Award grants the winners CHF 10’000. Alongside with our partners UBS and PwC we provide finalists a particular alternative to invent bigger their worldwide awareness, affect recognition and point out themselves to a high-class jury.

Three dot flee. “Powers essentially the most influential social entrepreneurs between the ages of 13 -19, who private chanced on an answer or innovation to address a same old human need.” 

YC120 (share of Y Combinator). “We’d capture to obtain more curious, inventive folks which would possibly per chance well well be doing thrilling work in emerging fields and offers them a possibility to launch constructing their community. “

VentureCrush FG.  Pando Day to day wrote: “VentureCrushFG takes no equity, there is rarely this kind of thing as a co-working rental, and no demo day. The utility process is now not advertised. Most applicants near from referrals.” “VentureCrushFG[‘s]…stellar recognition among founders and traders is due, in share, to the success of its most high-flying corporations.” “If something, it’s more of a community than an accelerator, a technique to retain a sturdy community of alumni, mentors and traders connected. Between one and 200 techies are share of the community, including founders, execs, 40 to 50 VCs and a pair of dozen angel traders.””

We Company Creator Awards. “This world competition is launch to entrepreneurs, performers, startups, and nonprofits-anyone who embodies our mantra, Accomplish Your Existence’s Work.”

World Summit Awards for Younger Innovators. “WSA Younger Innovators is a optimistic recognition for younger social entrepreneurs beneath 30 years of age, utilizing ICTs to take motion on the United Nations Sustainable Fashion Targets (UN SDGs). Alongside with the WSA winners of every 365 days, they are honored as prominent digital innovation with social affect.”

It is seemingly you’ll well well per chance must search at product-basically based solely mostly crowdfunding, e.g., Indiegogo*. Varied feeble options for non-dilutive financing consist of grants, loans, SBIR, STTR, vouchers and tax credits, consist of:

  • Marvel’s Overview of Non-Dilutive Funding
  • Non-Dilutive Financing: All the issues You Prefer to Know
  • Past the SBIR: Non-Dilutive Funding for Your Startup
  • National Economic Impacts from the DOD SBIR/STTR Program

You’re eligible for the rather a pair of accelerators, as properly as specifically the affect accelerators. Behold Conveners Affect Accelerator Alternative Machine. Some particular accelerators:

  • 17 Incubators For Affect Entrepreneurs and Social Venture
  • Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood
  • Higher Ground Labs
  • Catalyst Fund (Managed by BFA, basically based in 2016 with make stronger of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Plod & Co)
  • Techstars Affect Accelerator
  • Y Combinator

There are rather a pair of VCs who private a said focal level on social affect; for paunchy lists undercover agent Affect Capital Managers and InvestorFlow. Oliver Libby, Managing Accomplice, H/L Ventures, notes, “you could always endure in mind that affect funders recall the equivalent spectrum of returns as smartly-liked traders.  From 100% loss capital (e.g. a grant) to shooting for enormous returns (some affect VCs), an entrepreneur can unlock all the pieces in between, including first-loss capital, affect bonds, patient capital from program-connected investments and households, and more.  The market is additionally coming to achieve that high affect can in most cases near with high returns too.”   

Rachel Butler, President, Cavendish Affect Foundation (where I’m an manual), mentioned fiscal sponsorship as an option. “It’s an blueprint where an entity rapid of funding (and it’s always a for-earnings, social enterprise) groups up with a 501(c)(3) that has an aligned mission, and money would possibly per chance also be raised thru the 501(c)(3) and old to make stronger a particular project being accomplished by the social enterprise.

So, as an illustration, if the 501(c)(3) has in its mission to make stronger improving training, and a for-earnings social enterprise is growing an app to lend a hand make stronger access to better training for folks in underserved communities, the 501(c)(3) would possibly per chance well make stronger that particular project. The 501(c)(3) does want to retain discretion about how they expend the funds (as a safeguard to right form having or now not or now not it’s an blueprint for funneling philanthropic funds), and there are some diversified stipulations, however otherwise it’s barely straightforward.  The ‘Venture’ can truly halt the fundraising, as an agent of the 501(c)(3), and private the money directed to the 501(c)(3). The project is continuously something that has a moderately rapid timeframe with measurable milestones that designate development. The 501(c)(3) additionally takes an administrative price for his or her characteristic within the collaboration.“

Bill Warren, CEO of Peeps Democracy, Inc., wrote, “but every other form of funding provide for a social affect entrepreneur to take into story is startup challenges/competitions at her/his alma mater. For instance, Duke sponsors a $10,000 annual prize for students, college, or alumni working on a startup within the neat energy rental. These prizes is incessantly a massive provide of non-dilutive funding for early-stage ventures and additionally offer free exposure to academic notion-leaders and diversified alumni, who would possibly per chance well make stronger your startup via mentorship or funding. “

Emily Rasmussen, founder & CEO of, suggests turning philanthropic donations into for-earnings investments utilizing Donor Quick Funds (DAFs), which would possibly per chance well well be like Health Savings Accounts for charitable giving. You invent a tax deductible donation right into a DAF story, obtain a right this moment tax deduction, after which donate your funds out to charities over time. In the intervening time, your funds are invested to lend a hand develop your fund, right form like an endowment. With some 501(c)(3) DAF sponsors (e.g Affect Sources), after making  a tax-deductible donation into their DAF story, donors can then repeat the sponsor to speculate their charitable property right into a particular social enterprise deal. These deals are sourced by the donor investor and any future returns stir attend into the DAF story and are on hand for future affect investments or charitable donations.

Lastly, I counsel reviewing these hyperlinks on fundraising:

  • Please don’t pitch a enterprise capitalist with out this guidelines
  • What form of capital would possibly per chance well simply quiet you elevate, and from who?
  • How Tech Startups Can Salvage Money and Reinforce from the Fortune 500
  • Fundraising Hacks: The device to Elevate Capital on your Startup
  • How Valuable particular person Wars will enable you to elevate capital on your organization
  • Face-to-face conferences are essential, however written collateral is predominant for closing the deal
  • The funding committee rejected you; what does that truly mean?
  • Is Project Capital Factual for Social Ventures?

* I’m an investor on this company.

Thanks to Emily Campbell, Esq., of The Campbell Agency PLLC for handy input; she has instantaneous me on some criminal issues within the past.

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