FINANCING SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY INNOVATION, THE FRONTIERS OF VENTURE CAPITAL
FROM THE MINUTES 2018
Finding an effective platform for startups and allocating the resources needed to fund game-changing ideas is the sweet-spot for impact investment. The Good TechLab and its founder Benjamin Tincq are pioneering this challenge head-on through their research venture that explores the frontiers of impact in sustainable development practices. He describes the lab as a “market research company” that looks at “how entrepreneurs, investors and large companies can partner together to build billion-dollar impact companies that will tackle massive problems at scale.”
Trying to solve complex global issues such as climate change, poverty and hunger takes immense effort and resources, and to do so, incentivizing the private sector is crucial, Benjamin says. “If you look at this as an opportunity, (trying to) solve these issues is a $12-trillion annual market by 2030.”
MOVING FORWARD EXPONENTIALLY - AT OUR OWN RISK
“What’s worrying,” according to Benjamin, “is that we have entered an era that experts call the ‘Anthropocene,’ which is the edge of where humanity impacts the biosphere on a massive scale.” He believes that sustainable development goals (SDGs) taken on by strategically partnered firms generate a social and environmental impact. Not only that, they compete alongside a financial return with a range similar to traditional investing.
In 2016, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) posted $114B in assets, which included an impressive 48% growth over the year before. With projects such as one that provided the capital necessary to build Mongolia’s first wind-powered renewable energy centre, the gains were a godsend for the region:
- Reduced coal-burning by 122,000 tonnes, annually
- Saved 1.6 million tonnes of fresh water, annually
- Created employment for more than 3,000 locals
MILLENIALS - THE BIG SHIFT
In the coming years, there is an estimated $30 trillion changing hands from Baby Boomers to Millennials. It represents both a threat and an opportunity, as customer demands and employee aspirations demonstrate how Millennials favour companies that align with their values. As research from Cone suggests:
- 90% of Millennials would shift loyalty for a brand associated with a cause
- 62% would take a pay cut for a job to work for a responsible company
ROADS JUST WANNA HAVE FUND
Participants at Movin’On came up with these venture capital fund ideas to contribute to the transition toward sustainable mobility:
UNSUNG HEROES VENTURE FUND
Designed to improve overlooked and underserved aspects of shipping and rail. The ask: $1B from NGOs and think tanks.
Would include current and former politicians, CEOs, energy providers, IT companies, mobility and transportation societies, and would finance game-changing sustainable development. The ask: $10B (!)
NEW FRONTIER FUND
Would focus on crowded, noisy, polluted cities to create a better quality of life and would partner with C40. Would work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the IoT and, according to this fund’s leader, will be “on leading edge of the lead.” The ask: $50M in the first year.