1. Neighborhood trusts might be a game-changer. The trusts give residents and local businesses a say – and a stake – in the growth of their communities. From the Kensington Corridor Trust in Philadelphia, to Trust Neighborhoods in Tulsa and Kansas City, to The Guild in Atlanta, and California’s NICO and East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, communities are retaking control of commercial and residential real estate. Take the tour.
The Week’s Agent of Impact
Donnel Baird, BlocPower. There was no heat in the building in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood where Baird grew up, so he and his sister would turn on the oven to heat their apartment. “In low-income communities, there’s a waste of energy,” Baird told ImpactAlpha, “and there’s a waste of human potential.” Baird founded the climate tech startup with Morris Cox in 2014 to bring clean energy to low-income Americans. BlocPower helps utilities, government agencies and property owners retrofit city buildings in underserved communities and finances eco-friendly electric heating and cooling systems for small and mid-sized property owners at no up-front cost. The company has retrofitted more than 1,000 buildings in New York City, saving property owners up to 50% on energy costs. This week, BlocPower raised $8 million in equity and $55 million in debt, led by American Family Institute, AccelR8 and Goldman Sachs.
The Week’s Dealflow
Low-carbon transition. Resilient Infrastructure Group acquires renewable natural gas facility from Equilibrium Capital… Vestas Ventures backs Modvion to create wooden wind turbines… Volta Energy Technologies closes $72.6 million to fund battery tech… Ikea-backed foundation invests in fossil fuel-free equities and green steel… ChargeLab raises $4.3 million for EV infrastructure software… Patch raises $4.5 million to channel carbon-offset financing… Malta raises $50 million for thermal energy storage.
The Week’s Talent
Brookfield Asset Management’s Mark Carney, former head of the Bank of England, joins the board of Stripe… Align Impact adds Patience Marime-Ball of Women of the World Endowment, Shu Dar Yao, ex- of RSF Social Finance, and Mamadou-Abou Sarr of V-Square Quantitative Management to its investment committee… Sophie Durham, ex- of Kosmos Energy, is named director of ESG and infrastructure investments at First Sentier Investors.
The Week’s Jobs
BlackRock is hiring a director of its impact opportunities fund in New York and hiring an impact investing vice president for its fundamental equity division… Prime Coalition is recruiting a director of impact in Cambridge, Mass… Croatan Institute seeks a part-time or full-time analyst or associate… 17 Asset Management is hiring a data-science sustainable investing fellow… Envestnet is looking for an impact investing intern in Denver.
“It’s a great time for new entrants, but for those of us who’ve been doing this for a while it is equally urgent to raise our game right and to not get complacent,” said Margot Brandenburg of the Ford Foundation.