One week in the Big Apple makes magic happen. During a one week stay the team had the chance to arrange meetings with several interesting actors in the social impact investment scene. Our team was specially happy to meet with the Global Social Investment Funds team at Deutche Bank. Having the opportunity to present our business case for this team that is about to setup a groundbreaking new social impact investment fund was very inspiring. That Deutche Bank is operating in novel manners on Wall Street makes one even more excited. We’d be happy to collaborate in the future when our proof of concept is up and running.
Addtinionally, our team met with the excellent Willow Impact Investors. This meeting was likewise very motivating. I am very pleased to find investors out there that share our values and this make me very excited about the future. For a social business it is key that we can find partners that can support our value set and strengthen our long term goals to have an environmental and social impact in the communities where we operate. Williow Impact Investors are also about to launch a impact investment fund with a follow up for social impact – groundbreaking stuff!
Finally, we scheduled a meeting with Rockefeller Foundation. We had a great meeting sharing experiences from the field and learning more about the SPEED programme withing their foundation that is looking at using gasfication technology to power telecom base stations in India. At Rockefeller they encouraged us to continue our efforts in East Africa and acknowledged that our model is innovative and has got potential in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Apart from many succesful meetings downtown Pamoja had traveled to the US to take part in the Kairos Global Summit. Every year Kairos Society announces the Kairos 50 – the 50 most innovative young startups from around the world to showcase solutions and business models that can help solve the big challenges we hace today. The 50 startups is given the opportunity to showccase their business at the New York Stock Exchange – a great opportunity to connect with world leaders and menthors from a wide variety of industries.
The summit was an amazing experience. Apart from getting inspired from meeting young driven entrepreneurs and chagemakers occupying the very heart of Wall street. I was glad to connect with people from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Singularity University. The whole summit had its final on Sunday 5th February at the Forbes Estate. Just seeing that a lot of influential people and organisations like the UN is supporting the Kairos Society makes me very hopeful that we can bring change through entrepreneurship everywhere. The Kairos Society is an excellent initiative to support and foster great ideas and team of entreprenurs that are working for change rather than the big bucks.
Kairos Society is an american non-profit organisation while it also has private companies as partners. The aim and and the private interests of Kairos Society partner companies caused some discussions during cocktails. Kairos Society is new and evolving and such debate is good to have even for something that seems purely good. And personally I have to conclude that as long as Kairos Society is transparent and fosters its values and supports startup compnaies that have a clear and tangible social or environmental impact with their action I see no dilemmas. Making money out of business that is good should be systemized and encouraged as much as possible and what’s better than doing it in New York at the fabulous New York Stock Exchange!