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Check Out Smart Impact Capital

Interested to see what Smart Impact Capital has to offer?

The videos below give you a sneak peak at how we break down complex information in easy to understand ways. View them, and then use our Smart Impact Capital and You tool to see how the modules align with your key capital-raising questions.

Impact Capital 101: Supply and Demand

What can a butterfly tell us about the impact capital market?

The butterfly shape and form illustrates how the supply and demand sides of the impact capital market interact. Capital never changes hands between parties until there is agreement on risk, return, and impact; the butterfly breaks down the process for you. Module 1 equips you with an understanding of the terms of engagement as you embark upon your capital-raising journey.
Articulating Strategy to Investors: Two Key Dimensions

What do investors expect from impact entrepreneurs?

Impact entrepreneurs must clearly articulate where their ventures are on two dimensions: business growth and impact evidence. This effort requires mastery of two different sets of tools, vocabulary, and techniques. Module 2 walks you through this process with a series of diagnostics leading to an investment roadmap.

How do I find out more?

We plan to bring on additional intermediary/dissemination partners in mid-2017, and to offer individual licenses to Smart Impact Capital starting in late 2017. Please share your information below if you would like to stay up-to-date.

Smart Impact Capital and You

How does Smart Impact Capital align with your most pressing capital-raising questions? Click on questions below that resonate with your venture, and see how Smart Impact Capital can respond.

Answer

All of our modules are based on over a decade of in-depth experience working with experienced entrepreneurs and investors, and are driven by their key questions, common mistakes, and best practices. The modules also include video interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and other intermediaries, so that you can learn directly from what they have learned. CASE has translated these lessons into smart, rigorous, tactical tools and resources that you can apply to your organization immediately.

Answer

To know if you’re ready for impact capital, you need to understand where your business is in the growth process – and how that informs the type of capital you should pursue. Module 1: Impact Capital 101 helps you understand the dynamics of the impact capital marketplace. You can take that knowledge into Module 2: Articulating Your Strategy to Impact Investors where videos and tools help you identify your stage of business growth and see what that means for your readiness to pursue impact capital. Module 3: Calculating Your Funding Gap can also help you figure out how much money to raise, how you can pay it back, and by when.

ready impact capital
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Investors need you to clearly articulate what you know about your organization, what you don’t yet know, and what you need money to learn. Module 2: Articulating Your Strategy to Impact Investors includes a diagnostic tool to evaluate key readiness factors, and helps you build a roadmap for your investment priorities. Module 3: Calculating Your Funding Gap and Module 6: Scenario Planning then arm you with a simple integrated financial model to help calculate your funding gap, track your assumptions, and then test these assumptions with a variety of investment scenarios. This is the framework from which all investment term decisions are based, such as timing of debt payments or the valuation of the company. And Module 8: Due Diligence provides insight while you are preparing for diligence with investors.

diagnostic tool
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Many entrepreneurs say, “Just tell me who to approach and I’ll take it from there.” But we know that many impact entrepreneurs go into those meetings not entirely prepared and are surprised at the results. To improve your chances and use your time efficiently, you first need to smartly target your fundraising based on your stage of business growth (Module 2: Articulating Strategy to Impact Investors) and calculate how much capital you need to raise and on what timeline (Module 3: Calculating your Funding Gap). Module 4: Types of Capital can then help you see the range of capital vehicles being deployed by impact investors and key terms, and Module 5: Motivations of Capital Providers can help you triage investors by giving you an insider’s view of their motivations, constraints, and knockout criteria. Last, Module 7: Investor Cultivation can give you insider’s advice on building relationships of trust quickly.

Answer

When approaching investors, impact entrepreneurs face unique challenges that traditional entrepreneurs do not. Module 2: Articulating Your Strategy to Impact Investors helps you communicate effectively on both dimensions of impact and financial return. This module provides you with tools to clearly articulate where you are and where you are going on both dimensions, so that you can build a clear roadmap to articulate to investors. Module 5: Motivations of Capital Providers provides more insight into the motivations and constraints of different investors around impact and return, to help you tailor your pitch to match investors’ interests.

business growth
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Different funders demand different levels of impact evidence. Sometimes these demands are clear, but often they are quite murky. Module 2: Articulating Your Strategy to Impact Investors helps you communicate effectively on the impact dimension of your business by evaluating your investors against the 5 categories of impact evidence claims they prefer, and 3 common paths that entrepreneurs take to achieve the evidence that’s right for their needs and their investors’ needs. The tools in this module will help you to align your work with their preferences.

impact evidence tool
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Different types of investment vehicles (debt, equity, etc.) have different impacts on your organization. Depending on your business model and scaling strategy, there are investment vehicles that are smartest for your business at different times. Module 3: Calculating Your Funding Gap helps you develop a cash projection model and calculate your funding gap so you know how much capital you need to raise; Module 4: Types of Capital will give you a detailed understanding of the different capital vehicles investors are using, including new ones used by impact investors. Module 6: Scenario Planning lets you test how different types of investments and different business growth scenarios will impact your cash flow. You can use these tools to decide on the best type of investment capital for your business, and arm yourself with background on ways to negotiate terms for each type of investment in Module 8: Due Diligence and Deal Terms.

cash model
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Due diligence can be long and stressful. You want to be efficient in getting to either a quick no, or a deal that is in your best interests. Module 8: Due Diligence and Deal Terms gives you tools to prepare to guide the investor through an efficient due diligence process, and shows you where you have leverage to get to the best yes for you. You can also explore Module 9: Exits and End Game to look ahead at what experienced entrepreneurs wished they had done differently with the benefit of hindsight.

Answer

In a pitch, investors need you to clearly articulate what you know about your organization, where you are going, and what you need money to do next. Module 2: Articulating Your Strategy to Impact Investors includes a diagnostic tool to help you evaluate key readiness factors, which you will build into a roadmap for your investment priorities and pitch. Module 3: Calculating Your Funding Gap then arms you with a simple integrated financial model to calculate your funding gap and document your assumptions (which investors will certainly question). Once you have the key elements from your roadmap and your funding gap, assembling a pitch will depend on your audience. Look to Module 4: Types of Capital to see the range of capital vehicles being deployed by impact investors and key terms, and Module 5: Motivations of Capital Providers to get an insider’s view of the motivations and constraints of different investors and funders; Module 5 will also include tips for pitching to the different types of capital providers.

investor questions
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Module 4: Types of Capital will refresh your knowledge on equity funding, and Module 5: Motivations of Capital Providers will provide insight into the interests and needs of equity funders. Module 9: Exits and End Game can then provide advice from experienced entrepreneurs who have raised equity and helped their investors exit in ways that helped the company – including addressing issues of maintaining mission, agreeing on valuation, and surviving down-rounds.

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