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Social impact and venture with Sarah Millar and Louis Bickford

May 18, 2021
6:00 pm
EDT
May 18, 2021
6:00 pm
EDT
Join us for a discussion on impact investing and building social impact products with Sarah Millar and Louis Bickford.
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Key takeaways from Louis' breakout room:

  • Philanthropy/impact investing/VC can be quite analogous in how insular it is
  • We can overcome that by tapping into relationships and warm intros, and also becoming an expert in the “vertical” e.g. AI (VC) or malaria (philanthropy)
  • Angels (including folks who operate in philanthropy) can be willing to invest simply on the mission, team, etc. but for VCs, even with alignment they’ll still want to see growth

Key takeaways from Sarah's breakout room:

  • We discussed how to devise KPIs that demonstrate social impact in industries that have clearly defined metrics vs. industries without clearly defined metrics. It’s important to take baseline stats at the beginning to really prove your company’s value and impact. These metrics can come from published research by non-profits and other large organizations.
  • To help remove bias from investing, City Light Capital uses data to source up information from multiple sources to find out about all social impact companies, regardless of their connection to the individual. This helps to decrease the necessity for connections to a VC in order to pitch and receive investment. VCs still have a long way to go in eliminating bias from their decision making, from how they source their deals to how they evaluate companies operating in sectors they do not identify with.

Join us for a discussion on impact investing and building social impact products with Sarah Millar and Louis Bickford.

Sarah is a Principal at City Light Capital, a VC firm that invests early in impactful companies with a focus on education, safety and care, and the environment. Sarah runs City Light's "City Spark" fund, a seed-stage vehicle investing in 25+ companies per year with mission-driven founders. She also leads the fund's impact measurement and management efforts. She is passionate about supporting companies that show demonstrated impact through their core products or services.


Louis is the founder of Memria, a tech start-up that uses the power of voice to help our partners further their missions. Memria's tools allow partners to capture and use "feedback stories" from people who have had direct experiences. He's also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. Previously, he worked in global human rights at the Ford Foundation. He's strengthening truth, reconciliation, public memory, reparations, justice, and human rights initiatives.

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