Archive for the ‘Opportunities’ Category

Agora Partnerships Connecting Investors and Entrepreneurs with LATAM@SOCAP15

September 17th, 2015

By: Dana Warren

34183060_agora_partnerships_logoOur mission at Agora Partnerships is to accelerate the shift to a sustainable economy, one that creates shared value for all stakeholders including future generations and the environment. Entrepreneurs are the key engine to this shift. They are closest to understanding customer needs and closest to harnessing market forces that can scale their solutions quickly and sustainably.

A major challenge for talented entrepreneurs trying to improve upon the status quo is a lack of access to the key ingredients they need to grow a business: knowledge, networks, and capital. We know the capital is out there, but what is lacking is a vibrant and effective capital market for early stage impact investing.

Deal Rooms at SOCAP15

SOCAP has emerged as one of the leading creators of this market, convening an impressive 10,000 people since 2008 who share a vision for a sustainable future. Because of this, SOCAP is the ideal venue for LATAM@SOCAP, a conference-within-a-conference that brings together entrepreneurs solving problems in Latin America and mission-aligned investors willing to take risks in order to create social change. The Deal Rooms at LATAM@SOCAP are an effort to begin to build a marketplace that makes it easier, faster, and more efficient for values-based investors to connect with values-based entrepreneurs. These small group discussions are entrepreneur-led, provide investors with an overview of the business, and focus on a strategic questions that investors can help the entrepreneur to address. Deal Rooms is not a shark tank, but an opportunity to learn, to share, to build relationships, and we hope, to actively engage with a group of extraordinary people from across our hemisphere.

The entrepreneurs hosting the Deal Rooms are building truly amazing business models that are reforming education through technology, bringing farmers the value they deserve, empowering indigenous communities, influencing the fashion industry with eco-friendly designs, inspiring the adoption of clean cookstoves, and providing access to basic services to BoP populations across Latin America.

“We believe strongly in the the quality of the entrepreneurs as well as the quality of the investment opportunities and invite investors to come see what is happening on the front lines.” -Ben Powell, Agora’s Founder and CEO

Last year at LATAM@SOCAP14, 21 Deal Rooms led to eight investments (ranging from $50K – $500K) in health, sanitation, education reform, sustainable agriculture, and financial innovation across Latin America. One particular Deal Room inspired four investors to co-invest in a seed round, sparking impressive growth and impact for coffee farmers in Latin America.

We are hoping with LATAM@SOCAP15 to give investors the opportunity to meet and invest in some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs working in our hemisphere – and to take action at the intersection of money and meaning.

LATAM@SOCAP15: Where and When

LATAM@SOCAP15 will take place on October 6th in Building C at Fort Mason. The day will begin at 9:30am with 30-second pitches, followed by 24 hour long Deal Rooms from 10:00am until 5:00pm. The day will conclude with an investor reception. You can also join us at any time throughout the day in C260 (Building C) to connect and network with other investors and entrepreneurs.

The full Deal Room agenda, including the details of all participating companies will be available shortly on Pathable. Access to the Deal Rooms is included in the regular SOCAP ticket. One-day tickets are also available to attend only the Deal Rooms (click here).

If you are an investor building your pipeline, you are interested in investing in Latin America, or your investments focus on sustainable agriculture, ethical fashion, indigenous business leaders, clean cookstoves, financial services, or basic services (energy, education, health/sanitation) we welcome your participation! Please get in touch with Sarah Gearen (sgearen@agorapartnerships.org) to learn more.

Entrepreneurs: Scholarship & Gratitude Award Applications Due June 30th

June 23rd, 2015

Connect with Peers, Mentors, and Investors at SOCAP15

group at table

This October over 150 innovative social entrepreneurs from around the world will be selected for a scholarship to SOCAP15 and the chance to win a Gratitude Award. This outstanding group of entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to take advantage of all of the networking opportunities and learning experiences available at the conference and within the SOCAP community. Do you want to be among them? The deadline to apply is coming up soon!

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION TODAY

If you are an entrepreneur who has built an innovative venture designed to solve problems in the fields of education, community development, and environment/sustainability, when you apply to SOCAP’s Social Entrepreneur Scholarship program you will also be considered in the running for a Gratitude Award. Nine eligible entrepreneurs will be chosen from the pool of SOCAP scholarship recipients to vie for Gratitude Awards. Of those finalists, four entrepreneurs will be selected to receive a full year of dedicated mentorship and other benefits that can help their ventures thrive.

Top 3 Ways Gratitude Awards Help Winning Ventures Grow

Randy Haykin is the Silicon Valley angel investor, entrepreneur, educator and venture capitalist who founded The Gratitude Network. We asked Randy to list some of the ways that his organization helps Gratitude Award winning entrepreneurs achieve greater impact. Here are his top three:

  1. Connections to other people that can help. The Gratitude Network connects Gratitude Award winners with an expansive global network of mentors that offer expertise and guidance on issues such as market entry, business models, team development, fundraising and more. They help entrepreneurs identify the top three challenges their ventures are facing, and then make strategic connections with mentors who focus on finding solutions to those problems.
  2. Valuable feedback. Over the year that they work with winning ventures, Gratitude Network Mentors offer reflections that help entrepreneurs get a clearer view of what they are doing, where to focus, and how to go about achieving their goals. In essence, their mentors serve award winning ventures as a virtual board member. Mentors know how to ask the right questions at the right time.
  3. Funding opportunities. Money is the lifeblood of a startup. Introducing entrepreneurs to angels, institutions, nonprofits and foundations that provide funding is critical. The Gratitude Network has established a syndicate of angels, families, and investors who take the time to look at Gratitude Award winning ventures, and in many cases assist with funding and introductions to other potential funding sources.

 

If you are an innovative entrepreneur who could benefit from the the mentorship and support offered by the Gratitude Network, apply for the SOCAP entrepreneur scholarship and your opportunity to be selected as a Gratitude Award winner.

To learn more, read Your Guide to The Gratitude Awards at SOCAP15