The concept of "Net Positive" says “Businesses have impacts on the environment and society. Some are negative, some positive. For a company to be net positive, the latter need to outweigh the former. To put it another way: The natural world and society should be better off with companies than without them ... "
Jeffrey Hollender writes for the Stanford Social Innovation Review about the "Net Positive Principles":
And, as a bonus, Hollender gives a detailed example of a "net positive" condom company.
Kuli Kuli founder Lisa Curtis gives the overview, in 6 easy steps. Appears we're Step 5, "Pitch and Pray for an Angel". Right before Step 6, "Don't Give Up."
Cleantech investor Rob Day argues in greentechmedia that impact investors who seek less than market returns actually hurt the overall proliferation of impact investing by refusing to demand replicable, attractive returns.
He closes with "Whether it's to help establish new scalable implementation platforms for clean technologies, or to help establish new venture financing models for the backing of clean technology innovations, there's a critical role for impact investors to play in unlocking big scalable capital. Bringing such follow-on capital is in fact a major, explicit goal for many impact investors.
For those who do want to have that impact, however, this ongoing argument around how much returns-sacrifice to accept rather misses the point, in my view. Sacrificing returns often fails the test of replicability. Buying down risk, if done the right way, is, on the other hand, key to establishing replicability.
So impact investors, do you want your efforts to be amplified with follow-on capital? Then consider taking on more risk -- not sacrificing returns."
Equity research firm Ocean Tomo recently released data on "intangible market value", that is, the value of assets within the S&P 500 that are NOT captured on the balance sheet as tangible assets: cash, property, plant, equipment, inventory, and the like. And the number is astounding: 84%!
Equities.com reports on those findings, linking the failure of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to properly account for either the value contained by tech firms in information, relationships, intellectual property, or "eyeballs" to the value contained in social enterprises like soil remediation, ecological activity, and social capital.
We find this so interesting: we often hear that small, local, sustainable businesses are "hard to value" because of the lack of "traditional" assets, which seemed odd in the light of astronomical valuations for tech firms proudly proclaiming their lack of business model or revenue plans. What do you know, it turns out that most of the entire market's valuation is mostly made up of something else, something special, something "intangible".
Maybe we just need to look in different places to find the "value" and the opportunity for significant increases in that value, in our local sustainable food companies!
Two companies, Bona Dea and 4th Tap Brewing Cooperative, have their deals "baked", that is, they're far along in fundraising and have set terms, conditions, and legal documents. We're working with both to get those docs, plus other diligence items, into our web-based deal tracking and management system for investors to review.
Four companies, Capra Foods, Logro Farms, Dash of Masala, and World's Best Eggs gave excellent overviews of their traction so far and expansion plans, to significant investor interest. Each has work to do to structure their deals.
All pitches were filmed. We'll have video available for investors who weren't able to make the event soon.
We learned several important things in our first effort:
Forbes reports on local investing author and advocate Amy Cortese's new website, www.Locavesting.com.
"There’s a whole revolution going on under the radar," says Ms. Cortese, "and that’s what I want to cover with the web site. Our goal is to shine a spotlight on the innovative and regenerative models being created and tested around the country and the world, and the pioneering people behind them."
The site is a news and information provider, with general "how-to's" for local companies trying to raise money and investors looking to keep funds locally.
Ken Roseboro of Civil Eats explains how the growing demand for organic foods (Americans spent $35 billion on them in 2013) is placing significant strains on the supply of organic grains.
Last Wednesday, April 8, AFI hosted two tables at the Capital Area Food Bank's Hunger Heroes luncheon. CAFB uses the lunch to honor volunteers and partners in their work to feed hungry people, and to raise awareness and money from donors.
The event was a great success, raising almost $47,000 in total. Of that , the AFI group pledged or donated $12,800, which will create 38,400 meals! Wow!
Thanks so much to our guests for their interest - as well as their donations!
One hour recorded webinar from the Angel Capital Association hosted by with panelists Bonny Moellenbrock, Executive Director of Investors' Circle; Kenneth Merritt, Managing Director of North Country Angels; and Michael "Luni" Libes, Founder of Fledge LLC.
This is one of the most thorough, and interesting overviews of Impact Investing we've seen. Highly recommended.
The Q&A part, at the end of the webinar, starting at around minute 33, is particularly illuminating.
Austin Foodshed Investors will be hosting our first ever Pitch Fest on April 16, in the morning through lunch, here in Austin.
We'll have brief introductions, pitches, and Q&A from these local sustainable food companies:
AFI investors will then eat lunch together and discuss both the companies, the AFI process, and the path forward.
We would love for you to join us!
But the event is only open to Accredited Investors that have "registered" with us. Registration is super simple - your contact info, two easy questions, and your agreement to accept our terms of service. There is no cost to register, nor any obligation to invest.
REGISTER with AFI NOW !
If I can answer any questions, please don't hesitate to email AFI Co-Founder Curt.
Yesterday AFI Co-Founder Curt Nelson and Investor Brian Rodgers testified to the Texas House of Representatives Investments & Financial Service Committee in favor of HB3425 "Relating to the creation of a intrastate investment market for purposes of trading securities issued under the intrastate crowdfunding exemption from federal securities laws" introduced by Committee Chair Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound).
The bill would create a secondary market for equity shares of companies that had issued stock via the Texas Crowdfunding Portals rules authorized last year. AFI friend Texas Entrepreneur Networks, for example, is an authorized Texas Crowdfunding Portal.
Both Nelson and Rodgers discussed the importance of liquid secondary markets for removing barriers to investment in small private companies by providing investors with the liquidity of an "exit" without the company have to be sold, or go public via IPO. Additionally, Nelson and Rodgers pointed out potential economic development benefits from a Texas secondary market.
News from AFI; Links to stories on business-for-good, private-company investing, fundraising, & sustainable food.