Impact Investor Challenge | Investors

Change the world by making every business an impact business.

Learn How to Invest and Amplify Your Positive Impact

The Impact Investor Challenge is a 11-week, online training program that empowers and guides emerging impact investors—from experienced investors to those exploring it for the first time—to invest in purpose-driven businesses that align with their values and target returns.

As we seek to diversify the impact investing ecosystem and drive sustainable solutions to global challenges, we have designed this program to serve both accredited and aspiring investors seeking to make a difference through the power of impact capital.

We run a number of Challenges per year from sector agnostic to thematic (cleantech, healthtech, etc.) and geographically focused. Wherever your passion for change is directed, we invite you to apply to chat with a member of our team to find the best fit for you.

Impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

The Global Impact Investing Network

Is This Program a Fit?

The Impact Investor Challenge might be for you if: 

  • You want to learn about impact investing
  • You are seeking to make an investment into an impact venture and gain exposure to purpose-driven companies
  • You are looking for ways to support innovation
  • You want to learn how you can leverage your capital to support your community
  • You want to understand how impact investing can become a tool for your organization or business

 

As a part of our Impact Investor Challenge’s investor cohort, you will gain insights, build your network, and acquire resources to become successful at impact investing. At the end of the program, participating investors will collectively award $100,000 in investments to their top chosen company from the entrepreneur cohort which runs in parallel.

Additionally, 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. This means that as alumni you can have priority access to join investment in the winning companies of future Impact Investor Challenges through Spring’s SPV. 

Watch an Information Session

Tune in to our recorded info session to learn more about the program!

The Impact Challenge will leave you with a network of impact investors, key figures in the national impact investing community, and emerging mission-driven companies.

Spring Impact Investor Challenge 2019 Winner Open Ocean Robotics

What You Will Learn

Investing for Impact

Investing for Impact

➜ Investing in uncertain times and mitigating the pandemic
➜ Defining your impact investor thesis to reflect what impact means to you
➜ What is impact investing and how do you measure it?

Deal Mechanics

Deal Mechanics

➜ The due diligence process, including investor portfolio and taxation strategies
➜ Negotiations and paperwork

Selecting Investments

How to Select Investment Opportunities

➜ How to find impact companies and screen pitches
➜ What to look for when evaluating startups
➜ Assessing the market opportunity and measuring impact
➜ Evaluating teams

Understanding returns

Understanding Returns

➜ Funding venture scale businesses
➜ Exits in impact and alternative returns for companies that may not exit
➜ Balancing your portfolio

Who You Will Learn From

Aside from learning from the serial entrepreneurs and investors on the Spring team, you will get exclusive access to Spring’s vast network of industry leaders. Sessions will feature Canadian and global experts and professionals in impact, investing, business continuity management, entrepreneurship, and more.

Past Guest Speakers

Program Details

Key Details
  • We accept applications on a rolling basis
  • Upon applying, you will have the chance to learn more information from our team and we will find the best fit for you based on your industry preference and region

Format
  • Program duration: 11 weeks
  • Online 2-hour workshops once per week during evenings, exact time TBD
 
Pricing

Reach out to selina@spring.is for information on pricing. Early bird discounts are available for applicants before July 31st.

 

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.

Upcoming Intakes

We run several programs a year with various regional and thematic focuses. Not sure which intake is right for you or would like to apply for a future, not-yet-listed intake? We accept applications on a rolling basis so you can submit your application today to chat with a member of our team and find the best fit for you and the impact you want to make.

Women-led Impact Investor Challenge
Presented by the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good
Ontario Impact Investor Challenge
Yukon Investment Challenge
Kootenay Investment Challenge
Angels for Climate Solutions

Ready to Invest in IMPACT?

Program Partners

Learn About Past Startup Participants

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!