The SVP Denver Social Impact Investor Group (SIIG) provides investment opportunities to SVP partners members using the angel investing group model originally developed in technology startups in the 1990s.
What differentiates the SVP Denver SIIG from other angel investment groups is our focus. Specifically, we look to understand how much impact will be achieved per dollar invested. Investment return and return of capital is of secondary importance, as the group’s primary lens of analysis is the organization’s ability to generate social impact in the Denver community.
SIIG meetings are held five times per year, and all SVP partners members are invited to attend (at no additional cost). At these sessions, Partners members learn about specific impact investment opportunities and various impact investment models. Most importantly, local social entrepreneurs from both for-profit and non-profit organizations present their “pitch decks” for funding (including impact goals, business model, products, teams, etc.), and are asked to quantify how each investment dollar will drive impact on a target population in Metro Denver. Think of the television show “Shark Tank,” but instead for enterprises focused on doing good for the community through sustainable, revenue generating goods and services.
Together with The Denver Foundation, SVP staff and SIIG members conduct due diligence on investment candidates, and then partner members decide individually whether to participate in a particular investment opportunity which is syndicated through the group. Only SVP partner members are allowed to participate in these investment opportunities, and all record keeping is conducted by SVP Denver.
The SIIG chartered in the fall of 2018 and thus far the group has evaluated a wide range of investments addressing issues such as racial bias in mortgage lending, neurodiversity in the workplace, jewelry made from recycled cans, a multi-lingual app for low income parents in public schools and affordable loans for low-income employees. Investments may include loans at concessionary rates as well as equity stakes in nonprofits and for-profit social enterprises. To date, the SVP Denver SIIG has invested in two ventures; a nonprofit called Hands of the Carpenter and a for-profit tech firm called Achroma, both based in Denver.
There is a growing interest in impact investing among the SVP membership, and within the greater Denver community as a whole. Some partner members say they joined SVP primarily to participate in the SIIG. Interested in learning more? Contact SVP Denver Executive Director Colleen Kazemi.