ImpactAlpha Open | August 9, 2022

ImpactAlpha Open No. 3: Time to build

Dennis Price

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ImpactAlpha Editor

Dennis Price

TGIT, Agents of Impact!

🗣️ Agents of Impact weren’t waiting for U.S. policy to get around to climate solutions. But they’ll take it. “Now, you want a time to build?” tweeted Matt Eggers of Breakthrough Energy, which has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into climate ventures. “Then this is your moment.”

Welcome to the third edition of ImpactAlpha Open, your weekly guide to careers, capital and contacts to optimize your impact. “This is a fantastic new channel for getting all the latest impact investing news delivered right to you!” shared Avary Kent (part of ImpactAlpha’s original team). 

  • Want to get ImpactAlpha Open in your inbox each Tuesday? Sign up for free at

Scroll down for:

  • Policy entrepreneurs taking grassroots innovations to scale,
  • The West Virginia developer who hooked Joe Manchin, and
  • How KKR is helping workers become owners.

Ready to go deeper? Grab a full-access subscription for 50% off (ending soon!) to get The Brief, our award-winning daily newsletter, along with full access to and subscriber-only invitations to Agents of Impact Calls, events and Slack channels.

Let’s go! 

– Dennis Price

Must-reads on ImpactAlpha

  • Market building. Some investors invest to grow high-impact companies. Others invest to spawn entire markets. Matt Bannick, former managing partner of Omidyar Network, explores the latter. (Open)
  • Accelerating the wonks. Move over startups. A new incubator aims to propel the work of grassroots “policy entrepreneurs” to bring fresh thinking to old economic debates. (Subscription)
  • What stakeholders? Don’t label as “pro-business” the Business Roundtable and other lobbyists who took aim at the Inflation Reduction Act. (Subscription)
  • Systemic change. Overcoming bias against first-time, diverse and emerging fund managers requires limited partners to reimagine due diligence. (Open)
  • Creative philanthropy. UNICEF is using an impact investment fund to speed the delivery of aid to Ukraine and other crisis zones. Here’s how. (Open)

Agents of Impact

🌱 Brandon Dennison of Coalfield Development: Forging a path forward for Appalachia’s green economy

In the roller coaster climate bill negotiations with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Brandon Dennison brought something to the table that many other policy advocates couldn’t: the local impacts of a green economy. 

  • Get to know Dennison in this profile by ImpactAlpha’s Jessica Pothering. (Subscription)
  • ICYMI: “Transforming coal country, one social enterprise at a time,” Pothering’s 2018 Q&A with Dennison. (Open)

🏃 On the move

  • Santhosh Ramdoss led Gary Community Ventures’s mission investment portfolio for two years. Gary Ventures has named Ramdoss chief investment officer. 
  • Radha Rajkotia, most recently at Innovations for Poverty Action, has built a career around bringing evidence-based practice to development challenges. She takes the helm as CEO of Building Markets.
  • Steve Glickman, an architect of Opportunity Zones at Economic Innovation Group (and new Austin resident!)has joined conscious fintech company Aspiration Global as president. He has advised Aspiration for two years.

Brought to you by Catalytic Capital Consortium

Bridging capital gaps

‘Catalytic’ is now a badge of honor for family offices, corporations, public agencies, in addition to the philanthropic foundations that were early pioneers. With support from the Catalytic Capital Consortium, or C3, a collaboration of the MacArthur and Rockefeller foundations and Omidyar NetworkImpactAlpha is on the beat, with deep dives into the deals, people and strategies for using patient, risk-tolerant and flexible capital in order to jump into the deep end of social impact.

  • Catch up quickly. Read, “Catalytic Capital FAQ: How flexible capital can bridge financing gaps.” (Open)
  • Go deeper with “Catalytic Capital” on ImpactAlpha.

Deal Spotlight

👷🏽 KKR’s $950 million sale of Minnesota Rubber & Plastics means a payout for employees 

A worker-ownership program put in place by the private equity giant when it acquired Minnesota Rubber & Plastics in 2018 means that all 1,450 employees will receive cash payouts equivalent to up to two years of salary on the sale of the company last week to Swedish engineering firm Trelleborg Group (KKR declined a request from ImpactAlpha to say how much of the $950 million exit price was paid out to employees).

  • Yes, but. KKR made positive headlines in May when it shared with employees some of the proceeds of its exit from C.H.I Overhead Doors. C.H.I. workers received an average of $175,000. That’s a life-altering sum for many, but puny compared to the large sums KKR execs pull in yearly, The Democracy Collaborative’s Marjorie Kelly and Karen Kahn argued in a July guest post on ImpactAlpha. (Open)
  • Read the full story. (Subscription)

Six Signals

🦾 Wellbeing, rights and justice: A youth-led agenda for the responsible tech movement. (Omidyar Network)

👥 Can decentralized venture capital improve dealflow, decision making and returns? A look at VC3. (Kauffman Fellows)

☀️ Hospitals, schools and streets: Living through India’s next-level heat wave. (New Yorker)

🌍 Climate alpha: Green business opportunities in a surging net-zero economy. (Mckinsey & Co.)

🌱 U.S. carbon footprint per capita is down to 1949 levels…er… 1920s levels. (Our World in Data)

📚 “The Art of Insubordination” and other titles on Climate & Capital’s summer reading list. (Climate & Capital Media)

Get in the Game 

💼 Step up

🤝 Meet up

  • Climate Policy Initiative is hosting “India’s Green Finance Landscape – Increasing Momentum and Opportunity,” with speakers including Namita Vikas of auctusESG and Govind Sankaranarayana of Ecube Investment Advisers, tomorrow, Aug. 10.
  • Azolla Ventures’ Ryan Taylor and Nyleve Henry of Looks For Lease are among the speakers at TEDxCrenshaw, hosted by Culture & Climate in South Central L.A., Thursday, Aug. 18.
  • And don’t miss For ClimateTech’s three-day climate tech global innovation challenge and virtual climate tech summit, Sept. 13-15.

🎬 Take action 

  • Get smarter! UNDP and the Convention on Biological Diversity are offering a free eight-week online course on ecosystem restoration.
  • Wait, there’s moreUS SIF is offering a virtual training on the fundamentals of sustainable and impact investment on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
  • A new fellowship program from UBS and The Fourth Floor is recruiting diverse-founded pre-seed and seed-stage start-ups and board candidates.

⚡ Get daily access to the full slate of jobs, events and other career opportunities with an all-access subscription to ImpactAlpha:

Don’t be strangers. Connect with us. Tell us who you are and what you’re up to. And share your news, tips, data points, introductions and high-impact ideas, to [email protected].

See you back here next week!