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Voatz raises $2.2 million to improve election transparency

Can blockchain make voting more secure? Boston-based Voatz makes mobile-voting software that uses the distributed-ledger technology to safeguard results. Originally designed for university elections, the smartphone software aims to encourage greater participation in elections by making voting more convenient. It is used by labor unions, non-profits and town governments. Urban Innovation Fund; business coach Joe

ResponsAbility invests in ag-finance venture Samunnati

Chennai-based Samunnati lends to India’s small farmers and agriculture businesses; loans are based on cash flow, which helps ease debt-repayment pressure that has hurt other ag-credit programs. It operates in 10 states and disbursed $80 million in credit since 2014. It also supports borrowers with financial intermediation, advising and market connections. The investment, amount undisclosed,

Calling all impact finance MBA students

In the Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, graduate-student teams worldwide compete to come up with new ideas for investing for impact. Winners receive mentoring, networking and $15,000 in cash. Past winners include EduIndia, which finances new private schools in India; Terra Limpa, an Angolan fund to improve agriculture productivity and land ownership; and Fresh Coast Capital,

Trillions for Global Goals, robot nurses, solar in the Congo

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! #Featured: 2030 Finance Global goals, country plans: How Achim Steiner is making the global goals investable (video). The new chief of the UN Development Programme has representatives in 170 countries who can facilitate deals to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. “There are people all over the world sitting on enormous mountains of cash,

Global goals, country plans: How Achim Steiner is making SDGs investable (video)

Achim Steiner wants to do for the Sustainable Development Goals what he helped do for renewable energy. But whereas clean energy investments in the last 15 years have grown to about $300 billion a year, Steiner wants ‘SDG investing’ to reach $2.5 trillion a year, and much more quickly. As chief of the United Nations

BlackRock makes impact a necessity for companies, India’s fintech rush, China pushes toward…

Greetings, ImpactAlpha readers! #Featured: ImpactAlpha Voices Larry Fink flips social impact from a luxury to a necessity for every company. The chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $6 trillion under management, served notice on corporate CEOs their companies “must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities

BlackRock just did one thing that changed the game for anyone who invests

My firm, Village Capital, always tells entrepreneurs to build a product that’s a painkiller, not a vitamin. Vitamins are products people theoretically want, and make you feel better. People don’t need them, though. Painkillers are things that are necessary — not just nice to have. Put it this way, when was the last time you bought a vitamin