Impact investors can gain real feedback from their portfolio companies’ customers. Do they want it?

  • “The single most important feature of Lean Data is its focus on listening to customers in order to serve them better,” writes Alnoor Ebrahim, a professor Tufts’ Fletcher School. Acumen’s Lean Data methodology is no silver bullet, he says, and “is better seen as a complement to evaluation approaches such as randomized control trials rather than a substitute.”

North Carolina idea: Invest in ecosystems that invest in entrepreneurs

A healthy environment for startups begins with a targeted investment in the systems nurturing founders and budding entrepreneurs. That’s been the driving philosophy for Durham-based NC Idea Foundation, which since 2006  has invested millions to support maturing startup cultures in cities and towns across North Carolina. The privately-funded foundation has supported more than 250 North