Learning Session: Recoverable Grants

As investors seeking a blend of profit and purpose, there are many options both in public and private markets available to us, across a broad spectrum of returns while seeking social and environmental impact. Investor “intention” plays a big role in what kind of impact we seek to achieve –whether you want to signal your values rather than looking to outperform, versus whether you are looking to manage risk and generate alpha. Investors also can “contribute” to impact by not only engaging with impact, but also by growing new or undersupplied capital or by providing flexible capital – that is patient, maybe sub-commercial and concessionary but this capital can be catalytic and critical towards creating deep impact

Recoverable grants for a long time have been a versatile financial innovation used by several impact organizations like Upaya Social Ventures and Miller Center to provide deep catalytic capital – both equity and debt, to provide seed capital for early stage businesses and impactful solutions.

A recoverable grant is a grant that is repaid to funders depending on the success of the project. Come and learn about the kind of deep impact that this kind of flexible low cost capital can unlock. What are the approaches used by these orgs to create successful portfolios – that have attracted follow-on investments from other impact investors and created exit opportunities? Learn about how you can leverage these funding structures to build deep, catalytic impact into your own impact portfolios.

About the speakers:

Kate Cochran, Upaya Social Ventures (www.upayasv.org)

Kate is a fierce believer that global poverty is not inevitable and that entrepreneurialism is one of the sharpest tools to fight it. She is currently CEO at Upaya Social Ventures, a nonprofit organization that accelerates and invests in early stage companies that create lasting jobs for the poorest of the poor in India. Since 2011, Upaya has accelerated over 65 companies and invested in 28 companies that have created more than 25,000 lasting jobs for the extreme poor in India. The organization is committed to reaching 50,000 jobs created by portfolio companies

by 2022. Dedicated to proving impact and not just assuming it, Upaya assiduously tracks jobholder income, which shows an average doubling at the household level following a job with an Upaya portfolio company.

Previous roles include COO for Vittana, an organization creating student loan markets in developing countries and a range of executive roles at Unitus, a microfinance accelerator. She is a frequent speaker on social entrepreneurship and the intersection of markets and mission at business schools and conferences. Kate holds a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson.

James Cutler, Silicon Valley Community Foundation (www.svcf.org)

James Cutler is a Senior Investment Officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), where he is responsible for developing integrated capital strategies to deploy place-based and impact investments as part of the foundation’s $9.8 billion portfolio.

Prior to joining SVCF, James worked in portfolio management, impact investing, personal finance and community development. In these roles, he lead projects to establish a small business incubator for refugees, build a microloan fund, provide no-cost financial services and access to capital in under-banked neighborhoods and advocate for safe and affordable housing.

James has a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Philosophy from Loyola University in Maryland, and received his MA in Economics from State University of NY at Buffalo. He has also earned a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo and a Certificate of Measuring Impact for Sustainability from the IIX Impact Institute.

Alex Pan, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship & Truss Fund www.scu.edu/MillerCenter

Alex Pan is the Director of Impact Investing at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and a co-founder of the Truss Fund. Alex is an experienced program manager with a background in building the ecosystem that supports social enterprises in emerging markets. Before joining Miller Center, Alex worked for the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) where he coordinated ANDE’s global network of regional chapters, facilitated collaboration and knowledge sharing among ANDE’s 240+ members, and led ANDE’s efforts around talent and invention-based businesses. Prior to ANDE, Alex worked for several international development NGOs in China, India, and Uganda. Alex has also worked for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he assisted in the development of their impact investing policy. He holds an M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy from George Washington University and earned his B.A. from Colby College where he studied International Development and East Asian Studies.

Moderator: Rekha Pai Kamath (Partner and Board member, SV2)

Rekha Pai is an impact investor and Partner and Board member at Silicon Valley Social Ventures. She is also an adjunct instructor at MIT’s I-Corps Spark program. Prior to becoming an Impact Investor, she led New Business incubation at Juniper Networks. She has 20+ years in various product management, marketing, and product development positions at companies such as Symantec Corp, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, and ProcketNetworks (acquired by Cisco). Rekha also serves on the board of Fast Forward, an Accelerator for Tech Non-profits based in San Francisco, and is the Managing Director of the Kamath Family Foundation.

Rekha has been a Techwomen professional mentor and Impact Advisor since 2013 and currently serves on the Alumni Council for Techwomen. She has been a Foreign speaker for the US Department of State to several countries and is an investor, mentor, and advisor to several start-ups at Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs (SA&E), the Lean Launchpad Class at Stanford, and previously at StartX. She holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business

This session will be held in virtual format via Zoom. The meeting access info will be sent via Eventbrite confirmation emails. To access the meeting info, Eventbrite will require you to log in or create an account if you don’t already have one.

You will receive confirmation emails from Eventbrite 48 hours before the event, 2 hours before the event, and as the event begins. In any of these confirmation emails, click the orange “View the event” box. This will take you to a screen with an orange “Join now” button. Click on the button. This will take you to Zoom and you can follow the Zoom prompts to join the session.


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