Impact Investors

Catalyze your launch into startup impact investing through the Impact Investment Challenge.

Unsure how to dive into impact investing?

You're in the right place.

The Impact Investor Challenge provides you the resources and support you need to start connecting your capital directly to entrepreneurial solutions you care about – regardless of your impact investing experience.

We offer different editions of the Challenge format to address different themes and geographies. By doing so, we seek to diversify the impact investing ecosystem and drive sustainable solutions to global challenges.

Angels for Climate Solutions

This edition of the Impact Investor Challenge will focus on increasing the flow of capital investment into B.C.-based climate technology startups. Areas of focus include: 

  • Clean energy
  • Mobile and transportation
  • Food and agriculture
  • Geoengineering and land use
  • Supply chain and circular economy
  • Heavy industry
  • Built environment

Application period: October 5th – December 16th

Investor Training: February 7th – April 18th

Training sessions will take place weekly on Tuesdays from 3-5 PM PT.

Closing & post investment consideration: April 18th

Final pitch night: April 2023

Quebec Cleantech Investment Challenge

This challenge is powered by HSBC and designed to increase the flow of capital investment into Quebec-based cleantech ventures. It is delivered in collaboration with Social Innovation Canada, Foresight Canada and Cycle Momentum.

The companies involved in this challenge with be pre-seed and seed stage. Their impact will focus on clean energy, mobile and transportation, and other carbon reduction solutions. 

February 17, 2023: Last call for venture applications

March 17, 2023: Last call for investor applications

March 2023: Investor Training begins. 

Training Sessions will take place weekly on Wednesdays from 4-6 PM ET. 

April-May 2023: Pitch Events & Investor Training

Unsure which cohort to select?

What you can expect from the program.

Over 11 weeks, Spring facilitates a cohort of impact-curious investors and impact ventures in navigating the investment process. Through the program, and beyond, you can expect to:

Catalyze your launch into impactful investing

Begin to hone in on who you are as an investor

Join a supportive like-minded investment community to share knowledge

Start connecting your capital to entrepreneurial solutions

Who is the program a fit for?

The Impact Investor Challenge is all about breaking down barriers to entry associated with early-stage investing. These are the demographics of people we often see participating in the program:

  • Investors curious to learn more about investing for good
  • Entrepreneurs who have exited and are looking to invest in impact companies
  • Corporate, purpose-driven intrapreneurs, looking to learn and relay insights to HQ
  • Young professionals eager to network and learn, hands-on, about impact investing
  • Those looking to improve conditions for future generations through impact investing

 

Sound like you? You can apply now and browse our upcoming cohorts here. 

We accept investor applications on a rolling basis. Upon submitting your application, our program team will reach out to book a discovery call. During the touchpoint, we will support you in selecting a cohort that aligns with your goals. 

What will you learn through the program?

The process we use to ensure you're comfortable making impact-focused investments.

You can expect to gain insights, build your network, and secure resources to support your impact investing journey. At the end of the program, participating investors will collectively award $100,000 in investments to a chosen company from the entrepreneur cohort.

Investing for Impact
The foundations of impact investing, impact evaluation and your impact investor thesis.
Deal Mechanics
The in-and-outs of deal mechanics, including due diligence, negotiations and paperwork.
Selecting Investments
How to evaluate investment opportunities and assess market opportunity.
Understanding returns
Understanding returns, including returns that can be unique to impact companies, and balancing your portfolio.

Plus, if you complete our Impact Investor Challenge as an investor you can become an IMPACT AMPLIFIER and gain access to future investment opportunities via the Challenge. Alumni have priority access to join investments in the winning companies of future Impact Investor Challenges through Spring’s SPV. 

Who will you learn from?

You’ll learn from serial entrepreneurs and investors on the Spring team and industry leaders in the Spring network. Sessions will feature Canadian and global experts and professionals in impact, investing, business continuity management, entrepreneurship, and more. Here are a few familiar faces: 

Download our program pack to learn more about the program content and learning outcomes:

How it all works.

Some of the things you'll want to know before we get started.

How is the program structured?

Over the course of 11 weeks, during 2-hour weekly sessions, you will learn the ‘what, why, and how’ of impact investing while working alongside impact motivated entrepreneurs.

A series of venture pitches and investor cohort selections will take place. Once the finalists are selected, they will then engage in five, 2-hour weekly evening sessions with the investor group. The winning company will receive a $100k+ investment.

When can I apply?
 
What are the program costs?

Reach out to selina@spring.is for information on pricing. 

 

Do you have more questions about program? Are you wanting to dive deeper into the what, why and how of the Impact Investor Challenge? We recommend you download our program pack!

“The quality of the companies, speakers, and participants was high and made it very worthwhile to do. The Spring Impact Investor Challenge was a great program to connect with other investors and go through a whole process of screening, due diligence, selection and closing on an angel investment. Highly recommended whether you are a beginning investor or already have more experience.”

  • Frans Tjallingii

CEO at 7 Generation Capital, Entrepreneur, Investor & Board Member

“The Impact Investor Challenge provided me with a lens through which to view investing on a more holistic level. As someone coming into the program with minimal investment experience, I left feeling more confident in evaluating companies for both growth potential and alignment with my values. This program attracted an amazing cohort of investors along with dedicated teachers and knowledgeable guest speakers. Would recommend to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of impact investment.”

  • Ada Juristovski

Co-founder at Nala & NA Manager, Customer Success at SAP

“I can’t wait to continue following the companies and find opportunities with them in the future. ​It’s been such a learning experience figuring out my impact investor thesis, how to conduct due diligence and figuring out how to balance impact and profit. Time flies when you are having fun!”

  • Louise Chen

Customer Success Manager at StoryTap

Are you an IIC program alumni or an experienced investor?

After three years of training 200+ angel investors through our Impact Investor Challenges and catalyzing over $15 million in equity investments, we’ve launched the Spring Investing Collective – Canada’s national impact angel network!

Join this community of like-minded investors to build a values-aligned portfolio, sharpen your toolkit and forge meaningful relationships.

Program FAQs

This program is an 11-week training program where we gather a group of investors new to impact investing. The group will go through the training and decide at the end of the program to invest collectively into one of the companies that have been selected to participate in the program.

Like in an Angel Group, the due diligence work is done by the investors. Unlike an Angel Group, this program is focused on impact where the investor will learn about evaluating impact and creating an “investment thesis” for her/himself.

Additionally, the program is open to non-accredited investors who are allowed to invest thanks to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that is created for each of the investment. Many program participants are also members of Angel Groups and find this program a useful resource for knowledge, community and deal flow.

This program is an 11-week training program where we gather a group of investors new to impact investing. The group will go through the training and decide at the end of the program to invest collectively into one of the companies that have been selected to participate in the program.

Like in an Angel Group, the due diligence work is done by the investors. Unlike an Angel Group, this program is focused on impact where the investor will learn about evaluating impact and creating an “investment thesis” for her/himself.

Additionally, the program is open to non-accredited investors who are allowed to invest thanks to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that is created for each of the investment. Many program participants are also members of Angel Groups and find this program a useful resource for knowledge, community and deal flow.

The program is structured around 11 weeks. Each week, we meet online for 2 hours.

At the start of the program, you will be given access to an (optional) online training platform which provides you with approximately one hours worth of content per week.

The last 4 weeks of the program are a little more time consuming as you will be performing due diligence on one of the finalist companies. Participant usually spend between 2 to 4 hours in addition to the 2 hour weekly sessions meeting with their team, interviewing the company and preparing the final investment recommendation report.

The selection process for startups ends at least three weeks before the start of the Investor Challenge. Once the startup pool is identified we will share the list with registered investors as well as investors still considering participating.

All the selection is done by the investor group. During the course of the program, you will get to filter the startup group from 15, to 10, to minimum 3 companies in order to select one at the end.

At each stage, you will receive an individual voting sheet. The results of all investors will then be pooled and the startups with most votes will get selected for the next phases.

The winning company is determined as the company who receives at least 50% of all votes cast. In some cases, this requires two voting rounds.

Yes, you are free to invest directly in any company. Keep in mind that this option is usually only open to accredited investors, due to securities regulation. If there is a demand from the cohort to make an investment in a second company, Spring may be able to offer an SPV structure to include the non-accredited investors.

Most investors will continue exploring investment opportunities, either through the deal flow provided by Spring or outside of this. As an alumni of the program you have the possibility to invest in the subsequent winning companies of other IIC managed by Spring.

Some investors take part in multiple investor challenges as they appreciate the structured approach of the program and the experience.

Early stage investing is a high risk investment which may be lost entirely. Private equity investments typically generate returns through the sale of those businesses. For early stage investments, this will likely not occur for at least 4 years, but can be as much as 10 years (or more). In this case, the selling price of the shares will be paid into the SPV, which will then be distributed to the shareholders (ie. investors), pro-rate to your investment.

Between the fall of 2019 and summer of 2022, we have completed 7 challenges. All but one have raised subsequent rounds at higher valuations (or caps). These “markups” are good signs because it demonstrates the companies ability to show value creation, usually from a combination of revenue, new intellectual property and/or new strategic partnerships. There hasn’t been an exit so far, but given the short time period invested, this isn’t unusual. The previous winners (and investment years) include Open Ocean Robotics (2019), Indiegraf (2020), Moment Energy (2021), Heal Mary (2021), Viridis Research (2021), Circular Rubber Technologies (2022) and UVX (2022).

Each investment differs, but most companies are seeking to return capital to their investors via a strategic sale or IPO. We also allow entrepreneurs and investors to consider alternative investment structures, such as revenue-backed financing, which could be liquidated overtime with repayments.

Ready to start investing in impact?

Program Partners

Join the Movement as a Partner

It takes a community to catalyze change and fuel the innovation the world needs. If you are interested in being part of the impact investing movement as a partner of our programming, reach out to us today!