ImpactAlpha, May 5 – John Moore quit his corporate gig and moved to Philadelphia two decades ago. He found a city rich in social entrepreneurship and a growing community of practice around impact investing. Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Reinvestment Fund, Halloran Philanthropies, PIDC and B Lab are all based in Philly.
As a member of Investors Circle (now the American Sustainable Business Network), Moore began making angel investments in high-impact startups. He has since backed more than 40 social ventures and impact funds, including Philly-based Wash Cycle Laundry and First Step Staffing.
Another investee, Mosaic Development Partners, a Black-owned real estate developer, is “blowing up,” he boasts. “It very quickly became obvious that my life got better as Philadelphia thrived.”
As Moore and the growing community of impact investors dug in, gaps became apparent.
“There weren’t products, there weren’t pipelines, there weren’t really good ways for this money to flow,” he recalls.
Five years ago, Moore co-founded ImpactPHL to prime the pumps. Philly now boasts at least a dozen locally-focused impact funds, including Hatch BioFund, The Collective, and Kensington Corridor Trust.
“Not more than 10 days go by that I don’t personally meet another angel investor or CEO who’s interested in social impact,” Moore says.
This week, ImpactPHL’s flagship Total Impact summit was a showcase of impact investing innovation from around the country.
“I am not the reason that ImpactPHL is doing so well,” Moore stresses. “I just happen to be privileged enough to have a surfboard on this massive wave of momentum that has been building for decades.”