When it is up to investments in startups and new ventures, most people are inclined to think that all investors are only looking to maximize their return and profit, aiming at pushing teams to grow and grow revenue and margins, forgetting about employees’ morale or impact on the environment and civil society.
If this was true, and maybe still is true, for Wall Street investors and startup raiders looking like the characters depicted in “the social network” movie, there are other and different categories of investors who have always worked below the radar, and they did take care of more socially responsible opportunities they could fund.
We are not talking here about philanthropist or individual donors, even if it is true that even such individuals are looking more and more for “investments”, meaning that they expect their contribution will have a return: we are indeed talking about impact investors and traditional investors who have more and more felt the need for allocating their assets to initiatives which could bring some value not to them only, but even to society and environment.
So the impact investment trend is becoming more and more popular: many studies and research are now unveiling its potential, many investors and funds have starting to look at it, and many organizations are also looking forward to seeing if and how it can actually become mainstream.
It helped also the convergence on the importance of the SDGs of many actors and stakeholders of the civil society and political scene, recognizing them as the most complete and detailed set of goals we all, as human beings on Earth, should take care of.
Notwithstanding this, still when you meet an entrepreneur who is pitching about what he and his/her venture is doing to tackle one of the SDGs, solving one or more of the Humanity’s Grand Challenges as we call them in Hatch CoLab, you can see some skepticism in the people listening, as they were thinking: “Yes, but will this be sustainable from a profit standpoint?”, “where these guys want to make money from?”, and, the most dangerous criticism….. “They are talking about impact, but how can they actually create an impact and measure it?”.
This is THE point we at Hatch focus on, on top of the amazing acceleration program we provide to Impact Tech ventures.
Getting the ventures to better understand how to transform their desire for change into a sustainable business model, producing measurable and repeatable impact, is more a kind of art-not-science thing, making them investment ready and conscious about the impact they can have in the world.
How do we do this at Hatch CoLab? We all come from direct, on field, entrepreneur expertise, and rely on a selected network of top-notch mentors from many of the most impactful organizations here in the Impact Valley in Geneva.