Application Deadline for Investors’ Circle 2009 Spring Venture Fair is January 15

Investors' Circle

Investors' Circle (IC) is an angel investor network that focuses on enterprises that address social and environmental challenges.  According to IC, since 1992 it has facilitated the flow of more than $130 million into more than 200 private companies and small venture funds focusing on energy & environment, food & organics, health & wellness, media & education, and community development.

Each year IC holds two venture fairs that bring together investors and entrepreneurs -  a Spring event in San Francisco and a Fall event in Boston.  IC is currently accepting applications from entrepreneurs interested in presenting at its 2009 Spring Venture Fair. The application deadline is January 15, 2009.

Complete application details are available in the Call for Applications section of the Investors' Circle website.  You can also review summaries of IC's 2008 Spring conference as well as its prior events.

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Vodafone Americas Foundation to Award $600,000 in Wireless Innovation Project

Vodafone Americas Foundation is presenting the Wireless Innovation Project, a new competition that will award three winners prizes of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 for unique, late-stage wireless innovations that offer the best potential for creating social change in the areas of education, health, economic development, the environment and access to communication.

The Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project is open to projects submitted by applicants from universities and nonprofit organizations based in the United States. Eligible projects must demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach that uses an innovation in wireless related technology to address a critical global issue and has the potential for replication and large scale impact.  Additional information about this competition and application information is available at http://project.vodafone-us.com/.  Applications will be accepted until February 2, 2009.

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IGNIA Fund I, Latin America’s First Social Venture Capital Fund, Completes Second Closing

IGNIA

IGNIA Fund I, L.P., Latin America's first social venture fund, announced in November that it completed its second closing and now has a total of $34 million in equity commitments.  Investors include the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US family foundation, and European and Latin American individuals. This second round was $13.6 million; IGNIA's initial closing of $20.6 million took place in June and was led by Omidyar Network

IGNIA states that its goal is to raise $50 - $75 million in equity through future closings into early 2009. Combined with $25 million in debt financing IGNIA closed on with the IDB, IGNIA will invest a total of $75 – $100 million in innovative businesses that meet the needs of the low income population in Mexico and other areas of Latin America.  IGNIA announced its initial two investments in September – a $3 million commitment to Primedic, which delivers health care services to urban low-income individuals and families, and a $2 million investment in Jardines de Grijalva, an affordable housing development in Chiapas, Mexico (made through its real estate subsidiary).

"This US$13.6 million capital closing and the recently announced US$25 million debt financing have both been closed after the start of the financial crisis," said Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, IGNIA co-founder and Managing Partner. "We deeply appreciate the trust of our investors at this sensitive time, and it is a clear indication of how strong they deem the IGNIA business model, the team we have assembled and our theory of change."

"Partnering with the MIF will bring tremendous value to IGNIA," said Michael Chu, co-founder and Managing Director of IGNIA. "We will benefit from the substantial experience the MIF has built in pioneering equity investing in the region."

"By supporting IGNIA, MIF is not only supporting the creation of a new venture fund dedicated to the base of the pyramid segment, but is also helping create a new segment within the venture capital industry that will focus on fighting poverty, combining the lessons learned from microfinance with the financial tools of venture capital," said MIF team leader Susana Garcia-Robles. "The demonstration effect of this fund could lead the way for many more similar initiatives in the region."

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List of Green and Social Venture Funding Sources Expanded

Just a brief note — the list of funding sources on Green VC has been recently expanded and now provides information in the following areas:

These resource pages are being updated on a regular basis — contact us with any feedback or suggestions.  Thanks!

November 4th is Next Application Deadline for $1 Million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is a program of the Skoll Foundation that provides a $1 million grant to social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential to make a significant impact on issues such as environmental sustainability, health, tolerance and human rights, institutional responsibility, economic and social equity, and peace and security.  This award is intended to provide core support for organizations with a track record of at least than three years to help them expand their programs and capacity to deliver long-term, sustainable change.  Awards are presented at the Skoll World Forum, which takes place annually in Oxford, England in March.

Applications for the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship are accepted and reviewed by the Skoll Foundation throughout the year.  The remaining application deadline for 2008 is November 4, 2008 (the first deadline for 2009 will be March 3, 2009).   You can also learn more about the Skoll Award in the following video, which spotlights 2007 award winners.

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Adina for Life Receives $1 Million from Good Capital

Adina for Life

Good Capital, the San Francisco-based manager of the Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, recently announced that it closed a $1 million investment in Adina for Life, a lifestyle brand focused on organic, Fair Trade coffee drinks, and other healthful beverages. This investment is part of a $9 million round, part of which was announced earlier this year and was led by Sherbrooke Capital

“Demand for our delicious, life sustaining drinks has been growing tremendously and is now at an inflection point," said Greg Steltenpohl, Chairman and Co-founder of Adina. "We are taking our organic and Fair Trade beverages straight to mainstream American consumers.  We are excited to have Good Capital’s investment because of their unique focus on growing businesses that also contribute to positive social change."

Adina was founded in 2004, launched its first line of juice coolers in 2005, and introduced its organic, Fair Trade Certified(TM) ready-to-drink coffees and teas in 2007.

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August 5th is Next Application Deadline for $1 Million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship

Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is a program of the Skoll Foundation that provides a $1 million grant to social entrepreneurs whose work has the potential to make a significant impact on issues such as environmental sustainability, health, tolerance and human rights, institutional responsibility, economic and social equity, and peace and security.  This award is intended to provide core support for organizations with a track record of at least than three years to help them expand their programs and capacity to deliver long-term, sustainable change.  Awards are presented at the Skoll World Forum, which takes place annually in Oxford, England in March.

Applications for the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship are accepted and reviewed by the Skoll Foundation throughout the year.  The remaining application deadlines for 2008 are August 5, 2008 and November 4, 2008.   You can also learn more about the Skoll Award in the following video, which spotlights 2007 award winners.

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CalCEF Angel Fund Launched

CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund

The CalCEF Clean Energy Angel Fund I, LP (CalCEF Angel Fund) announced in April that it completed an initial close on investment commitments and welcomes companies to apply for funding.

The CalCEF Angel Fund secured investments from a variety of limited partners including institutional and individual investors. The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a separate organization established in 2004, is the founding limited partner in the CalCEF Angel Fund.

The CalCEF Angel Fund will finance the seed / startup stage of companies in clean energy sectors including energy efficiency, green buildings, power reliability, and alternative energy.  The CalCEF Angel Fund expects its typical investment to be $300,000 – $500,000 and is planning to build a portfolio of 12 – 15 companies.

According to Susan Preston, General Partner for the CalCEF Angel Fund, "The funding gap for seed and startup companies was a driving force behind the establishment of the CalCEF Angel Fund. By supporting innovation in its earliest form, we have a chance to foster the clean energy solutions of the future."

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Better World Books Receives $4.5 Million in Series A Financing

Better World Books

Better World Books, a Mishawaka, Indiana-based for-profit social enterprise that operates an online bookstore to fund literacy initiatives, has received $4.5 million in a Series A Preferred round of funding.  This round was led by Good Capital, which invested $2.5 million from its Social Enterprise Expansion Fund.  Eighteen private individuals also invested a total of $2 million in this round.  Kevin Jones, Principal and Co-founder of Good Capital, will also join the Board of Directors of Better World Books.

In the press release announcing this investment, Better World Books CEO David Murphy said:

This investment from Good Capital and other private investors will have a huge impact on our ability to promote and support literacy on a much bigger scale around the world.  Better World Books was founded on a simple belief that businesses can do good and do well at the same time. We are thrilled that Good Capital and our other partners have embraced Better World Books’ unique model with growth capital that protects our core values while providing the acceleration to help us expand our business.

Better World Books has more than two million new and used titles in stock in its online bookstore.  It acquires its used inventory through partnerships with more than 1,600 college campuses and 900 libraries nationwide.  Since its founding in 2003, Better World Books has raised $4.5 million for its non-profit literacy, library and college partners; saved more than 6,500 tons of books from landfills; and achieved 2,400 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping.  The company generated more than $16 million in revenue in 2007.

The following video provides additional information on the impact of Better World Books.

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