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Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

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Leonhardt Ventures to Enter Into Worldwide Strategic Collaboration With Neuro Code Tech Holdings for Customized Bioelectric Cancer Treatments

Salt Lake City, Utah and Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 23rd, 2017/PRBuzz: BREAKTHROUGH PATENTED AND PATENT PENDING EARLY STAGE TECHNOLOGIES ARE DESIGNED TO DETECT EARLY TUMORS VIA FAINT BIOELECTRIC SIGNALS AND READ HOW A TUMOR IS COMMUNICATING WITH ITSELF AND DELIVERS A CUSTOMIZED BIOELECTRIC SIGNAL TO JAM CELL DIVISION AND BLOOD SUPPLY TO THE TUMOR, THUS DESTROYING THE CANCER TUMOR, FOLLOWED THEREAFTER BY A FULL SEQUENCE OF ORGAN REGENERATION BIOELECTRIC SIGNALS INCLUDING STEM CELL HOMING AND DIFFERENTIATION. IT IS HOPED BY THE INVENTORS THAT BIOELECTRIC SIGNALING TREATMENTS WILL BE LESS TOXIC THAN CHEMO OR RADIATION.

Collaboration will draw upon Leonhardt’s leading position in bioelectric stimulation controlled protein expression and Neuro Tech Holdings premier customized bioelectric read and write neuro code tumor treatment platform

CancerCell, a Leonhardt Ventures’ startup – see video – https://vimeo.com/178690394 – incubating in the Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. innovation accelerator, a private licensable technology platform and team developing personalized bioelectric cancer therapies, announced today that it will enter into a worldwide strategic collaboration with Neuro CodeTech Holdings to develop, manufacture and commercialize novel bioelectric based, individualized bioelectric cancer therapies. The collaboration will combine Leonhardt’s leading bioelectric stimulation controlled protein expression portfolio and research program with Neuro Code Tech Holdings proprietary cancer neuro-code read and write technology platform, providing personalized medicine solution to shrinking cancer tumors, by stopping cell division, and starving them of blood supply. Together, the two companies will develop individually tailored cancer therapies against a broad range of cancers to potentially provide a new treatment paradigm for cancer patients.

CANCER_CELL from Calx Stars Business Accelerator on Vimeo.

The collaboration will focus on the development of bioelectric cancer tumor destruction therapies targeting the inactivation of a tumor’s ability to continue cell division based upon both Leonhardt’s and Neuro Code Tech Holdings individualized cancer therapy clinical platforms for the potential treatment of multiple cancers. With Neuro Tech Holdings patented technology a patient’s cancer tumor’s communication signals can be rapidly read utilizing next generation neural code reading technology to define a spectrum of unique mutation promoting signals that can be jammed and thus prevented from further cell division by a customized bioeleletric return signal. The Leonhardt bioelectric signal controlled protein expression technology can be used to activate release of a mRNA encoding selected neoepitope which can be manufactured for each individual tumor’s mutanome signature by a specific bioelectric signal, which can trigger an immune response highly specific to the tumor resulting in precisely targeted cancer cell death. The Leonhardt patented and patent pending technology platform includes signals for stopping cell division and halting blood supply to destroy a cancer tumor followed by over thirteen organ regeneration promoting signals and protein expressions to rebuild the organ after the cancer has been eliminated.

Initial clinical development will focus on combination studies targeted at shrinking brain, pancreas and breast cancer tumors. Under the terms of the agreement Leonhardt will pay Neuro Code Tech Holdings in installment payments as near-term and long-term milestones are met and the two companies will share ownership of the startups that receive exclusive licenses to commercialize the combined technologies.

The specific Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC intellectual property to be utilized in this agreement includes U.S. patent 9,032,964, entitled “Method and system for processing cancer cell electrical signals for medical therapy.” According to the abstract, a scientific computer system with processor capable of recording, storing, and reprogramming the natural electrical signals of cancer cells as found in tumors of humans and animals. The reprogramming process is designed to create a confounding electrical signal for retransmission into a malignant tumor to damage or shut-down the cellular internal electrical communication system. Altering the electrical charge on the glycocalyx of the outer cell membrane is also part of the treatment by application of ions. The invention causes cancer cell death as a medical treatment using ultra-low voltage and amperage encoded signals which are reprogrammed from cancer cell communication signals.

Dr. Santosh Kesari, Neuro Scientist and Chief Scientific Advisor to CancerCell and CerebraCell, Leonhardt Ventures cos. commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with leading bioelectric personalized cancer therapy inventors such as Eleanor Schuler of Neuro Code Tech Holdings. Supported by its extensive bioelectric stimulation signal protein expression control understanding, the Leonhardt team has been building experience with its proprietary bioelectric driven therapies, often combined with stem cell based compositions, in a number of organ specific applications over nearly three decades. Combining Leonhardt’s broad proprietary capabilities in the design, formulation, manufacturing and clinical testing of combination therapy organ regeneration and controlled protein expression technologies with Neuro Code Tech Holdings’ eminent neural code read and write signaling expertise, will allow us, on a global scale, to drive forward the development of individualized therapies to market to not only treat and potentially stop a broad range of cancers but also to fully regenerate those same organs post cancer. No other research group we know of is offering this one two punch combination designed to help patients recover to a full quality of life.” Dr. Kesari is Chair and Professor, Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics, Director, Neuro-oncology the Providence John Wayne Cancer Institute and Director of Neuro-Oncology at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and Brain Tumor Center both in Santa Monica, California where CancerCell and CerebraCell expect to launch first-in-man clinical trials in the future – http://www.pacificneuroscienceinstitute.org/

Eleanor Schuler, CSO of Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC added: “This alliance underpins Neuro Code Tech Holding’s strategy of collaborating with companies that are committed to developing truly disruptive therapies and its long term ambitions of bringing its patented inventions to clinics to begin helping people recover from the devastation of cancer. Our proprietary patented technology is the only one we know of that reads the communication signals within a tumor and customizes back an individualized therapy. No two cancer tumors are alike. To treat them you need a customized approach.”

“Unlike any medicine ever developed, virtually all cancer patients may potentially benefit from a custom built bioelectric cancer therapy followed by total organ regeneration,” said Luis Ortiz, Patent Counsel and President of Neuro Code Tech Holdings. “By collaborating with the Leonhardt team on this cutting edge approach, we hope to truly advance cancer treatments by using a common sense approach that is uniquely tailored to an individual patient. The Leonhardt team has a record of bringing breakthrough innovations from concept to market and strong leadership, and we believe with confidence they will do it again with this product.”

“In our work to discover the right bioelectric signals to promote organ regeneration we worked to find protein expressions that promoted cell division on demand and increased blood supply. By serendipity un-intentionally we discovered specific bioelectric signals that immediately halted cell division and halted blood supply. We sent these results into the U.S. patent office to make our first claims for a cancer therapy. In the process of filing our patents we came across the work of the Neuro Code Tech Holdings team led by Eleanor Schuler and found their technology to go a step further in having both a read and write neuro code customization. We are in awe of their inventive genius and feel honored to now be teamed with them,” stated Dr. Jorge Genovese and Howard Leonhardt co-inventors of the Leonhardt Ventures technology platform.

Link to previous related press release:

Leonhardt Ventures and CerebraCell File Patent Application for Treating Cancer Tumors with Bioelectric Stimulation –
http://mysocialgoodnews.com/leonhardt-ventures-cerebracell-file-patent-application-bioelectric-signals-halt-tumor-growth-regenerate-organs/

The Leonhardt team is also working on bioelectric neuro code signal reading that it believes can be an early detection system for cancers and organ regeneration to follow cancer tumor destruction.

About Leonhardt Ventures:

Leonhardt Ventures founded in 1982 is a leading developer of organ regeneration, support assist and repair technologies. In the 1980’s the Leonhardt team led the development of predictably compliant cardiovascular balloon catheters, in the 1990’s world leadership in patented stent grafts for aneurysm repair and percutaneous heart valves, in the 2000’s Leonhardt has led the way in stem cell and bioelelectric based organ regeneration technologies. The team led the first-in-man non-surgical stem cell repair of a human heart in 2001. Leonhardt Ventures operates innovation/startup accelerators in California and Utah under the name Leonhardt’s Launchpads currently incubating 30 startups and licensable technology platforms. Leonhardt’s Launchpads and it’s startups are supported by over 37 Scientific Advisory Board members http://calxstars.com/scientific-advisory-board/ and 70+ business mentors http://calxstars.com/team-cal-x/ – Main web site: www.leonhardtventures.com

About Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC:

Neuro Code Tech Holdings (NCTH) is a New Mexico-based company focused on the research, development and intellectual property protection of biolectronic cancer treatment technology. It’s chief scientific officer, Eleanor Schuler, has almost three decades of experience in developing and testing neuro-coded electric signals for providing a diverse spectrum of treatments for human and animal applications.

Corporate Notes: Leonhardt Ventures is Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures a Los Angeles, California LLC (formed in 1982 as sole propreitorship HJ Leonhardt & Co in Minneapolis. and converted to a California LLC in 2005). Leonhardt’s Launchpads is Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads a California C Corporation formed in 2013. Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. is a Utah C corporation formed in November 2015 and officially incorporated in 2016.

Caution Statement: Technologies referenced herein are early stage developments in early feasibility bench top and animal testing phase. Safety and efficacy is not yet proven. No efficacy or safety claims are implied. For potential investors investing in our innovation accelerator or its startups/licensable technology platforms is very high risk due to the early stage of these developments, the high regulatory and development cost to bring products of this type to market, patent lititagion risk, heavy competition and our limited capital on hand and small staff. This type of investment is not suitable to most and is limited in access at this time only to sophisticated accredited investors only with direct long standing experience in these type of investments. Due our small staff and many developments in process not all of our 30+ web sites are up to date and thus information at times may be outdated. If you have any specific questions please email us at howard@leonhardtventures.com

Leonhardt Ventures to Present Heart and Heart Valve Regeneration Technologies at Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) Meeting February 21st in D.C.

Press Release – Santa Monica, California and Salt Lake City, Utah (PR Buzz) — February 20th, 2017 – Leonhardt Ventures a leading developer of breakthrough organ regeneration and support assist technologies today announced that Dr. Leslie Miller their Chief Medical Officer will present at the 20th Annual Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) Conference on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 at 7:40 a.m. EST and 11:40am EST in the CRT CARDIOVASCULAR INNOVATIONS Showcase – see https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/CRT/aaSpeakerBios.asp

2/21/2017 7:40 AM – 7:48 AM BioLeonhardt Heart Regeneration –
2/21/2017 11:40 AM – 11:46 AM Valvublator Heart Valve Decalcification & Regeneration

Dr. Miller will be highlighting our BioLeonhardt combination bioelectric stimulator + re-fillable micro infusion pump + fifteen component stem cell based composition for heart regeneration. He will also present our Valvublator catheter based technology for decalcifying then regenerating heart valves so patients can keep their own instead of getting an implant – click here https://vimeo.com/174622660 to see Valvublator animation video . He will also show briefly our Second Heart Assist, Inc. technology which complements our BioLeonheart heart regeneration treatment by providing circulatory assist support in the descending aorta – click here to see animation video – https://vimeo.com/183574529

Leonhardt Stent Pump from Calx Stars Business Accelerator on Vimeo.

The BioLeonhardt bioelectric stimulator is designed to release of SDF-1 (stem cell homing), IGF-1, HGF (designed to protect against arrthymia risk), EGF, PDGF, VEGF, eNOS, Activin A+B, Follistatin and Tropoelastin as well as controlling on demand stem cell proliferation and differentiation into beating heart muscle within scar tissue. The fifteen- component heart regeneration composition includes adipose derived cells or bone marrow MSCs, muscle derived stem cells, EPCs, a full cocktail of growth factors, nutrient hydrogel, selected exosomes, selected alkaloids, selected anti-inflammatory agents, cardiac matrix and selected MicroRNAs. Click here to see BioLeonhardt animation video – https://vimeo.com/170229378

BIO-LEONHARDT from Calx Stars Business Accelerator on Vimeo.

ABOUT LEONHARDT VENTURES:

Based in Santa Monica, California Leonhardt Ventures is a leading developer of cardiovascular and organ regeneration, support assist and repair technologies. Our products are designed to regenerate your own organs with a combination of bioelectric stimulation controlled release of 13+ regeneration promoting proteins and repeat delivery via a re-fillable micro infusion pump of a fifteen-component organ regeneration composition. Leonhardt Ventures founded in 1982 led the development of cardiovascular balloon catheters in the 1980s, percutaneous heart valves and stent grafts in the 1990s, cardiovascular genetic tests and organ regeneration technologies in the 2000’s. The team led first-in-man cases for percutaneous aortic aneurysm repair in 1995 and first non-surgical stem cell repair of a human heart in 2001. For additional information please visit: www.leonhardtventures.com

ABOUT BIOLEONHARDT:

BioLeonhardt is focused on the development of a combination implantable bioelectric stimulator + micro infusion pump + multi-component stem cell + growth factor based composition for regenerating damaged hearts. The company is currently completing animal studies at the University of Utah funded by a USTAR Technology Acceleration Grant. See www.bioleonhardt.com

ABOUT VALVUBLATOR:

Valvublator is focused on developing a catheter based device to decalcify and regenerate damaged heart valves. See – http://leonhardtventures.com/valvublator/

ABOUT LEONHARDT’S LAUNCHPADS:

Leonhardt’s Launchpads founded in 2007 is an innovation accelerator founded by Leonhardt Ventures to accelerate the early stage development of startups emanating from its own inventions with a primary focus on organ regeneration and associated supporting technologies. Leonhardt’s Launchpads operates out of locations in Santa Monica and Pasadena, California with Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. and in Petaluma, California in association with the University of Northern California Science and Technology Innovation Center (UNC STIC) – http://www.uncm.edu/About_BoardDirectors.php. In November of 2015 they founded Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah to work more closely with University of Utah researchers and other local collaborators. See – http://leonhardtventures.com/leonhardts-launchpads-utah/

ABOUT C.R.T.:

CRT Group Foundation is a not for profit corporation dedicated to providing educational services in the field of cardiology through the website, CRTonline.org and the Cardiovascular Research Technologies (CRT) annual symposium – http://www.crtmeeting.org/. CRT focuses on the advances and changes in the field of cardiovascular medicine. CRT is designed to provide access to the world’s leading clinicians and the latest research in order to improve practice and treatment outcomes for a variety of health care professionals.

Source:

https://www.prbuzz.com/technology/411196-leonhardt-ventures-to-present-heart-and-heart-valve-regeneration-technologies-at-cardiovascular-research-technologies-crt-meeting-february-21st-in-d-c.html

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding development of Leonhardt’s Launchpads and Leonhardt Ventures existing and new products, the Company’s progress toward commercial growth, and future opportunities and expected regulatory approvals. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements based upon a number of factors, including uncertainties associated with development, testing and related regulatory approvals, including the potential for future losses, complex manufacturing, high quality requirements, dependence on limited sources of supply, competition, technological change, government regulation, litigation matters, future capital needs and uncertainty of additional financing, and other risks and challenges detailed in the Company’s filings. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. Leonhardt’s Launchpads operates with a very small staff and limited budget while launching more than 30 startups. Not all web sites and information is able to be kept up to date all the time. If you have any specific questions about accuracy or up to date information please email us with your questions. Leonhardt’s Launchpads technologies (licensable technology platorms – startups) are very early stage and un-proven and thus are deemed very high risk investments not suitable to most. Investing in Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads is limited to verified accredited and sophisticated investors only at this time. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Bunker Labs DC and JPMorgan Chase Host The Muster DC to Showcase Local Veteran Entrepreneurs

Press Release – Washington DC | February 23, 2017: Bunker Labs DC, a 501(c)3 organization committed to veteran entrepreneurship, will host The Muster DC on February 23, 2017, to showcase and empower local veteran entrepreneurs. The experience, part of the Muster Across America Tour sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co., is designed to connect veterans in business, empower the Washington D.C. entrepreneurial ecosystem, and foster growth, knowledge, and success.

The event will feature expert talks and panel discussions, a pitch stage where veteran entrepreneurs can compete for the title of “top startup,” and a post-event networking reception.

Bunker Labs DC Executive Director Emily McMahan remarked, “We know this experience will be a great opportunity to gather our local veteran entrepreneur community for one day to connect and share their ideas, experiences, and to also showcase Bunker Labs DC as a great resource.”

Following World War II, roughly 50 percent of returning veterans started a business. Today, approximately 25 percent of post-9/11 veterans state they want to start a business, yet veterans own less than 10 percent of small businesses. Veterans in the Washington D.C. region interested in starting or growing small businesses have access to resources, programs, and curriculum at Bunker Labs DC that is designed to translate military experience into starting sustainable and scalable businesses.

In partnership with JPMorgan Chase, the Muster Builds America Tour will travel to 14 cities across the country to showcase veteran entrepreneurs, empower local entrepreneurial ecosystems with large-scale events, and serve as the launching point for local Bunker Labs chapters. For more information on The Muster DC, and to reserve tickets, please visit: https://nvite.com/MusterDC/f342

About Bunker Labs:

Bunker Labs is a national not-for-profit organization built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans as leaders in innovation. Through local chapters organized in 13 different cities, Bunker Labs provides educational programming, mentors, events, and thriving local networks to help military veterans start and grow businesses. Bunker Labs works to inspire, educate, and connect veterans with the right people and the right resources to be successful as entrepreneurs and as innovators. For more information, please visit bunkerlabs.org, follow us on Twitter @TheBunkerLabs, or like us on Facebook.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. By focusing on employment, small business and strategic initiatives as well as talent acquisition and development, JPMorgan Chase aims to position military members, veterans and their families for success in their post-service lives. To learn more about the company’s efforts, visit JPMorganChase.com/Veterans.

Nearly a Third of Non-Profit Institutional Investors Say They Make “Mission-Related” Investments, According to Cambridge Associates Survey

The Environment and Climate Change are Key Areas of Focus as Most Mission-Related Investors (Often Called Impact Investors) Intend to Increase These Allocations

Press Release – BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – February 15, 2017) – Mission-related investing, which includes impact investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, is gaining significant momentum among non-profit institutional investors, according to a survey by global investment firm Cambridge Associates. The most common thematic focus among impact investors is the environment and climate change, with healthcare, housing, job creation, and education also cited as areas of interest by respondents in Mission-Related Investing: Current Practices and Views of Non-Profit Investors.

In a survey of 159 non-profit institutional investors around the globe, 31% say they’re currently engaged in mission-related investing — making investments designed to align with or advance institutional goals or values as well as provide financial returns. Of that group, 44% say they have increased their mission-related allocation over recent years, and 62% expect to grow their mission-related allocation in the coming five years. None of the institutions that currently make mission-related investments expect to decrease their allocations.

“This data confirms what we have observed among our clients over the past decade — that mission and impact investing has gained significant traction, and that many of our mission-focused clients view it as a core investment discipline with plans to deepen their commitment over time,” says Jessica Matthews, Managing Director at Cambridge Associates and head of the firm’s Mission-Related Investing Practice, which works with institutions to design and implement their mission related investing programs.

The respondents to the survey, fielded in 2016, include foundations, colleges and universities, religious institutions and pensions around the world, including in the United States, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the UK.

Growth in Mission-Related Investing Driven Largely by Environmental and Climate Change Concerns

Overall, about three-quarters (74%) of nonprofit mission-related investors expect to increase investments to ESG and climate change-related investment strategies. Cambridge Associates found that more than three-quarters (76%) of colleges and universities that make mission-related investments either currently consider climate risk when making investment decisions (41%) or anticipate doing so in the future (35%). Among foundations, 30% already consider climate risks, and 30% anticipate doing so going forward.

Among MRI strategies, the largest portion of investors reported employing negative screens; however, the survey found that investors anticipate proactively seeking ESG and environment/climate change opportunities more so than negative screening going forward.​

Challenges and Opportunities for Implementing Mission-Related Investing Strategies

Non-profit mission-related investors say the biggest challenge in implementing their strategies is a lack of adequate mission-related investment options, followed by their own resource constraints.

“The good news for mission-related investors is that we’re seeing a proliferation of ESG and impact investing strategies coming to market, so this product supply problem is becoming less of a barrier to entry over time,” says Matthews. “Across asset classes, we track over 1,000 MRI funds in our manager databases, and that number has steadily increased since we started tracking the data in 2008. That said, manager diligence and selection is increasingly important in this space just as it is within any other investment strategy.”

Matthews adds that an appropriate and well-constructed governance model — including setting a well-defined investment policy — can add to the success of an impact or mission-related investment program. “Institutions can lay the groundwork today that will help them arrive at better investing decisions in the future, regarding both risks and opportunities across the entire portfolio,” she says.

“Colleges, universities, foundations and family offices are increasingly paving the way in implementing thoughtful mission-related investing programs,” she adds. “Investors are truly starting to recognize that social and environmental goals can be effectively integrated alongside their investment objectives.”

For additional information and insights into the mission and origins of the Mission-Related Investing practice at Cambridge Associates, read an exclusive panelist Q&A featuring Jessica Matthews on The Economist’s Impact Investing blog. Matthews is participating in a discussion titled “Seeking Impact: The Measurement Challenge” at today’s The Economist’s Impact Investing Conference in New York.

Related Resources

About Cambridge Associates

Cambridge Associates is a global investment firm founded in 1973 that builds customized investment portfolios for institutional investors and private clients around the world. Working alongside its early clients, among them several leading universities, the firm pioneered the strategy of high equity orientation and broad diversification, which since the 1980s has been a primary driver of performance for these leading fiduciary investors. Cambridge Associates serves over 1,100 global investors — primarily foundations and endowments, pensions and family offices — and delivers a range of services, including outsourced investment (OCIO) solutions, traditional advisory services, and access to research and tools across global asset classes. Cambridge Associates has more than 1,300 employees — including over 150 research staff — serving its client base globally. The firm maintains offices in Arlington, VA; Boston; Dallas; Menlo Park and San Francisco, CA; London, UK; Singapore; Sydney; and Beijing. Cambridge Associates consists of five global investment consulting affiliates that are all under common ownership and control. For more information about Cambridge Associates, please visit www.cambridgeassociates.com.

Impact Community Capital Names Jeff Brenner CEO

Press Release – San Francisco, CA (February 7, 2017) – Impact Community Capital (ICC) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Jeff Brenner as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Brenner previously served as the firm’s interim President and CEO.

Established in 1998, ICC has provided more than $1 billion in financing for affordable multifamily housing, community healthcare facilities, childcare centers, and other community facilities serving families and communities in 38 states plus the District of Columbia. It was founded by a consortium of insurance companies to facilitate their investments in projects that benefit low-income families and communities.

“The Board is excited to have Jeff leading Impact as it implements its new, five-year growth strategy,” said Tony Tomich, ICC Board Chair. “During his time as interim CEO, Jeff has demonstrated the passion, commitment and leadership to achieve our vision of growing the company. We have every confidence Jeff will help ICC and its investors make large scale investments that will provide opportunities for low income communities and families.”

Mr. Brenner has built an impressive career in community development finance over the past 23 years. Prior to joining ICC, he served as CFO of Capital Impact Partners. During his tenure there, the firm was a leading innovator in building a bridge between the capital markets and investing in underserved communities. Mr. Brenner raised more than $600 million in new capital to finance facilities for housing, healthcare, education and fresh foods. He grew assets under management from $255 million to over $800 million. Since joining ICC in 2012, the firm has provided nearly $400 million of financing for affordable multifamily housing and securitized over $300 million dollars of mortgages in two securitizations consisting solely of loans for affordable housing projects.

“ICC is a true industry pioneer, and I am excited about the opportunity created by the growing interest in impact investing to reach new investors and to make investments that will help communities reach their economic and social potential,” said Mr. Brenner. “I’ve spent the past 30 years working to invest capital to improve the lives of people and communities and in doing so, demonstrating that these investments can be suitable for institutional investors seeking investment safety while making a significant impact in the communities they serve.”

About Impact Community Capital LLC

Impact Community Capital LLC is a for-profit company founded by leading insurers to promote socially responsible investments in underserved communities. The company was an early leader in making investments that facilitate social change long before “Impact Investing” began its move to the mainstream. Impact pioneered the pooling and securitization of community investment portfolios to direct large amounts of capital for affordable housing and used federal New Markets Tax Credits to invest in community childcare and healthcare facilities. It is owned by the following insurance companies: Allstate Insurance Company, Farmers Insurance Exchange, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Pacific Life Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and 21st Century Insurance Company. For more information, call (415) 981-1074, or visit www.Impactcapital.net

Only a Few Days Left to Make Early Entry Deadline for Global Contest in Search of Biodiversity-Friendly Agricultural Solutions

Submit by February 10 for Chance to Win Early Entrant Prize

Photo Credit: Jason Houston

Press Release – ARLINGTON, VA (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 06, 2017: Solution Search is a global-crowdsourcing competition designed to spotlight the most promising approaches to conservation and development challenges. This year’s contest, Farming for Biodiversity, seeks entries showcasing innovative agriculture solutions that strengthen biodiversity and its benefits to food security, livelihoods and nutrition. This Friday, February 10, at 5 pm (ET) marks the Early Entry Deadline for organizations vying for a shot at the Solution Search Early Entry prize of $5,000. The final day to submit any entry for this year’s global crowd-sourcing competition is Friday, March 10, 2017, at 5 pm (ET). The early entrant winner will be selected by the Solution Search panel of judges during the three-month review session prior to the June 5th public voting kickoff, and announced at the Solution Search awards ceremony in September.

“The Early Entry Deadline is an excellent opportunity for entrants to showcase their solutions in advance and receive priority exposure in front of our panel of expert judges” said Brett Jenks, President and CEO of Rare.

The contest will run in direct partnership with IFOAM-Organics International, with additional partners Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, Save the Children, Blue Solutions, the Global Island Partnership and Panorama joining from across the globe. Solution Search also recently welcomed Patagonia, EcoAgriculture Partners, and Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) as additional supporting partners in the contest. Most recently, the UN’s Indigenous Peoples’ rapporteur, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and Sarah Hayes, Patagonia’s Senior Manager of Materials, Innovation & Development have joined the contest’s prestigious judging panel.

Over the next couple of months, the Solution Search partners will be soliciting entries, working with expert judges to narrow the field and asking the public to weigh in and vote as well. In addition to two $30,000 grand prize awards, all entrants will be eligible for one of four side prizes of up to $15,000. All prize money must be used to further the winner’s solution and organization’s goals. Ten finalists will win a trip to New York City to attend a capacity-building workshop and awards ceremony alongside some of the biggest names in conservation and development. Following the contest’s conclusion, entrants will also be eligible to participate in a series of workshops and funding opportunities to help expand and apply their promising approaches around the world.

This contest is part of a larger project run in joint partnership by Rare and IFOAM-Organics International, and is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), a German initiative supported by The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will offer additional support to the project by linking its findings and messages to global policy making. Over three years, the partners will work together to identify these promising approaches and then host capacity-building workshops across the globe to spread these effective solutions. This workshop series, known as Campaigning for Conservation, will aim to further empower local practitioners to raise awareness of the value of biodiversity and to conduct social marketing campaigns promoting behavior change in support of the identified solutions. All entries to this contest will become part of a larger network of stakeholders engaged in supporting biodiversity-friendly agriculture.

Visit solutionsearch.org to learn more, apply, or nominate a fellow organization for a chance to win a $1,000 nomination prize yourself.

ABOUT RARE

Ranked in the top 25 NGOs in the world by NGO ADVISORS, Rare is an innovative conservation organization that implements proven conservation solutions and trains local leaders in communities worldwide. Through its signature social marketing campaigns (called Pride campaigns), Rare inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their community unique, while also introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Employees of local governments or non-profit organizations receive extensive training on fisheries management, campaign planning and social marketing to communities. They are equipped to deliver community-based solutions based on natural and social science, while leveraging policy and market forces to accelerate positive environmental change through programs in clean water, sustainable agriculture, and coastal fisheries. To learn more about Rare, please visit http://www.rare.org.

ABOUT IFOAM-ORGANICS INTERNATIONAL

Since 1972, IFOAM – Organics International has occupied an unchallenged position as the only international umbrella organisation within the organic agriculture sector, uniting an enormous diversity of relevant stakeholders and key actors. IFOAM – Organics International implements the will of its broad-based constituency, close to 800 Affiliates in 125 countries, in a fair, inclusive and participatory manner.

IFOAM’s vision is worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound agriculture systems, which will support the projects overarching goal to mainstream biodiversity into the agricultural sector. Through their extensive experience working with smallholder farmers, family farms and cooperatives in the sector, and by building local capacity through their Leadership Courses, IFOAM has the right knowledge, expertise, institutional structure and products to support the project.

ABOUT CBD

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity. The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity. The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

The Convention was opened for signature on 5 June 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio “Earth Summit”). It remained open for signature until 4 June 1993, by which time it had received 168 signatures. The Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993.

It is the UN’s main body concerned with the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

ABOUT IKI-BMUB

Since 2008, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has been financing climate and biodiversity projects in developing and newly industrialising countries, as well as in countries in transition. Based on a decision taken by the German parliament (Bundestag), a sum of at least 120 million euros is available for use by the initiative annually. For the first few years the IKI was financed through the auctioning of emission allowances, but it is now funded from the budget of the BMUB. The IKI is a key element of Germany’s climate financing and the funding commitments in the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Initiative places clear emphasis on climate change mitigation, adaption to the impacts of climate change and the protection of biological diversity. These efforts provide various co-benefits, particularly the improvement of living conditions in partner countries. The IKI focuses on four areas: mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the impacts of climate change, conserving natural carbon sinks with a focus on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), as well as conserving biological diversity. New projects are primarily selected through a two-stage procedure that takes place once a year. Priority is given to activities that support creating an international climate protection architecture, to transparency, and to innovative and transferable solutions that have an impact beyond the individual project. The IKI cooperates closely with partner countries and supports consensus building for a comprehensive international climate agreement and the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Moreover, it is the goal of the IKI to create as many synergies as possible between climate protection and biodiversity conservation.

The Surdna Foundation Commits $100 Million to Impact Investing

Announcement kicks off Surdna’s celebration of its centennial year

Press Release – NEW YORK – The Surdna Foundation today made the first of its centennial year announcements. The Foundation will allocate $100 million of its endowment to impact investing as a way to advance its social justice mission and grow the field. The commitment will focus on a combination of mission-related investments (MRI) and program-related investments (PRI), along with a variety of other impact investing strategies.

As one of the oldest and largest family-governed foundations in the U.S., Surdna is not just investing to further its mission, but also to build up the field of impact investing. In 2014 when the Foundation made the decision to allocate the $100 million, there was not a wide breadth of funds and tools available. As part of its investment, Surdna seeks to share its experience with others thinking about impact investing through its “Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing” publication and to support funds like the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, which helps build up women and minority-owned contracting businesses. Surdna’s 2014 investment in BOC leveraged an additional $2.8 million in capital from Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program.

“Surdna’s current focus on impact investing – alongside many of our peer foundations and an increasing number of pension funds and university endowments – is illustrating a desire by more institutions to align their assets with their values,” said Shuaib Siddiqui, Director of Impact Investing at the Surdna Foundation. “Leveraging our endowment for impact investing will enable us to demonstrate how to invest to achieve positive social, environmental and financial returns. We hope this will lead to the creation of more funds and tools. In turn, growing the field will create more options for impact investors.”

The “Mapping the Journey to Impact Investing,” report charts the journey from the time the Board of Directors and staff began exploring impact investing in 2014 to the decision-making process and experience of implementing impact investing policies. “The Surdna Foundation’s founder, John E. Andrus was committed to inclusion, social justice and sustainability,” said Peter Benedict II, Surdna Foundation’s Board Chair. “By sharing our experience and some of the lessons we learned in this report this centennial year, we will contribute to collective learning in the fields of mission-related investing and family philanthropy and celebrate these core values.”

A few examples of recent impact investments the Surdna Foundation has made to explore impact investing include the following.

  • A $5 million commitment in DBL Partners III, a venture capital fund in Silicon Valley, which invests in companies that deliver strong financial returns while promoting social, environmental, and economic improvements in the regions in which they operate.
  • A four-year, $700,000 loan to the Business Outreach Center (BOC) Network, a small business development organization and CDFI in New York City. The investment began in 2014 and allows BOC to provide loans to minority and women owned contractors working on public and private sector construction contracts.

Surdna will continue with impact investing to reach the full commitment of $100 million through 2017 and into the future.

Five successive generations of the Andrus family have pursued innovation and new ideas, sometimes taking bold risks to advance effective solutions to contemporary social challenges. In 2008, the Foundation redefined its mission to include a deeper focus on Surdna’s social justice goals. This $100 million investment is yet another example of this forward thinking from the Foundation. “As we celebrate our centennial, we continue to reach for new ways to advance our mission of fostering sustainable communities and charting the path to social justice,” said Phillip Henderson, President of the Surdna Foundation. “Our decision to embark on impact investing is core to who we are. The question for our board and staff was how to align our endowment practices to advance the Foundation’s mission.”

Throughout its centennial year and beyond, the Foundation will continue to support other foundations and individuals looking into impact investing to build the field and honor the values of John E. Andrus.

Surdna will share news regarding several special reports and grantmaking initiatives on its centennial landing page.

About the Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. For over five generations, the Foundation has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity.

For more information, visit the Surdna Foundation’s website.

On 10th Anniversary of Three Broad-Funded California Stem Cell Research Centers, Broad Foundation Announces $1 Million to Fund Innovative Pilot Research at UCLA, UCSF, USC

Press Release – LOS ANGELES–On the 10th anniversary of the three California stem cell research centers funded by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the philanthropists announced today a new $1 million grant to fund innovative pilot stem cell research projects at UCLA, UC San Francisco and USC.

Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad announced the new grant at a symposium at UCLA commemorating the first decade of stem cell research advances at the three centers they funded with an initial $80 million. The convening was attended by several hundred faculty and researchers from the three universities that will be eligible for the new funding.

“Edye and I could not be more pleased with the progress that has been made at these three stem cell centers,” said Eli Broad. “Our goal in funding scientific and medical research is to improve the human condition. Stem cell research and genomic medicine are advancing how diseases are diagnosed, treated and even cured, and we want to encourage that progress to continue.”

Over the past decade, researchers at the three Broad-funded stem cell centers have cured the genetic immune deficiency disease known as Bubble Baby disease and advanced clinical trials to treat sickle cell disease, Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries, colorectal cancer, HIV/AIDS and restore sight in patients suffering from macular degeneration.

Stem cell discoveries at the three Broad centers are helping treat cancer by regenerating powerful blood cells that kill tumor cells, regenerate bones, which could lead to treatment for millions of people suffering from bone loss, and even research that could reverse aging through transfusions of young blood and prevent obesity by converting energy-storing fat cells into energy-burning fat cells. Research at these centers includes the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells, which come from skin cells and can be transformed into any type of cell in the body.

After California voters passed a $3 billion bond measure in 2004 for stem cell research, the Broads invested more than $80 million to create and sustain the three centers. “Because universities couldn’t conduct embryonic stem cell research in facilities that received federal funding, we saw an opportunity for philanthropy to step in and supplement what government was doing,” Broad said. The ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was lifted by President Obama in 2009.

To date, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine–the state’s stem cell agency–has awarded more than $520 million to researchers at the three Broad stem cell centers.

Clinical trials underway at The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA are using stem cells to treat blindness, cancer, specifically melanoma and ovarian cancer, and genetic blood disorders like sickle cell disease.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC has advanced clinical trials to treat colorectal cancer, spinal cord injuries, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF has advanced research into the Zika virus, liver disease, human muscle regeneration and potential treatments for patients with paralysis or genetic disease like muscular dystrophy.

The new grant is designed to encourage innovative early-stage stem cell research. The eight $125,000 one-year grants totaling $1 million are open to faculty members in any department affiliated with the three Broad-funded stem cell centers at UCLA, UCSF and USC and will be awarded to advance basic or clinical stem cell research by helping scientists generate enough data for an initial proof of concept to then secure larger and longer-term funding by other organizations. Applications will be evaluated by two active investigators from each of the three Broad-funded stem cell research centers and will be awarded by Aug. 1.

The stem cell centers are only part of the Broads’ legacy in revolutionizing scientific and medical research and just a fraction of the more than $800 million of their philanthropic giving to scientific pursuits. The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has changed how science is conducted, creating a truly collaborative approach to research by drawing together nimble multidisciplinary teams from across universities and hospitals and then making those discoveries freely available to all. Genomic advances at the Broad Institute have led to treatments of cancer, schizophrenia, Ebola and dozens more diseases–all in the quest to improve human health.

The Broad Medical Research Program was started by The Broad Foundation in 2001 to encourage research into the cause, treatment and cure of inflammatory bowel disease. The program, which merged with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America in 2013, funds pilot research so that scientists can test their initial ideas and generate preliminary data in order to qualify for larger grants from other organizations. At the time the two programs merged, The Broad Foundation had awarded more than $43 million in grants to scientists and researchers, who went on to receive more than $142 million in new research funding from other organizations.

The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, were established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. They have assets of $3 billion. For more information, visit www.broadfoundation.org.

Ramblers Way to Open New Store in Portsmouth

Tom’s of Maine Founder’s New Company Offers Ethically Sourced Clothing in Third Brick and Mortar Store

Press Release – Portsmouth, N.H. — (February 2, 2017) Ramblers Way, the sustainable clothing company dedicated to ethical sourcing, today announced its newest store will open in Portsmouth, N.H. on February 4. The new storefront, the third for Ramblers Way, will serve shoppers interested in skillfully crafted, American-made, sustainable clothing.

At the newest location at 100 Market Street, shoppers will find timeless clothing for men and women in Rambouillet Merino wool and premium Pima cotton. Ramblers Way, which was founded by entrepreneur Tom Chappell, takes the itch out of wool by using a superior spinning process called “worsted” in which the fibers are spun in parallel so no scratchy ends stick out. Minimizing the impact to nature, Ramblers Way’s next-to-skin clothing can be worn comfortably both in the office and outdoors.

Rambouillet wool comes from the Rambouillet sheep, an American breed and cousin of the Merino. The wool is sourced from ethical ranchers with whom Ramblers Way has close relationships in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Texas. Pima cotton is sustainably grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley using pesticide-free and low water growing methods.

“We believe in creating a sustainable world that can enrich the lives of generations to come,” said Tom Chappell, founder and president of Ramblers Way. “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter on Earth, so we see an opportunity to rethink how to produce clothing people will love as much for how it feels and how it looks as how it’s made.”

Ramblers Way’s commitment to environmental responsibility and local economies goes beyond the clothing. It’s woven into the Portsmouth store, from the reclaimed hemlock floor, once part of a barn in Vermont, to the antique church louvers from Maine, which are featured as a backdrop for the Ramblers Way logo.

Ramblers Way plans to continue its rapid growth with additional stores scheduled to open in 2017 in Portland, Maine, Cambridge, Mass., and West Hartford, Conn.

For information about the stores, and to learn more about Ramblers Way’s journey and commitment to sustainability, visit www.ramblersway.com.

About Ramblers Way

Born of innovators and artists, Ramblers Way’s mission is to create ethically sourced, skillfully crafted, American-made sustainable clothing for men and women. Headquartered in Kennebunk, Maine, all Ramblers Way garments are made from premium, natural fabrics designed to go from office to outdoors. Ramblers Way was founded by sustainability pioneer and former owner of Tom’s of Maine, Tom Chappell, and is committed to protecting the planet, supporting local economies, and building a business based on lifelong values. For more information visit www.ramblersway.com and follow @ramblerswayfarm on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Fake News is Focus of New Shareholder Advocacy Push By Arjuna Capital At Facebook And Google

Investors Call on World’s Largest Social Network to Review the Impact of Fake News Policy Issues and Related Hate Speech on its Business and Our Democracy

Press Release – BOSTON (February 2, 2017) – Concerned that long-term shareholder wealth may be at risk if Facebook and Google do not do enough to “address fake news and hoaxes,” Arjuna Capital, in partnership with Baldwin Brothers, Inc., is asking the two tech giants to evaluate the impact fabricated content is having on their platforms and businesses. Arjuna Capital is being assisted in the effort by the nonprofit organization Open MIC.

The shareholder resolution filed today at Facebook urges the company to issue a report reviewing the public policy issues associated with fake news (and related hate speech) enabled by the company. Arjuna Capital filed a similar resolution on December 29, 2016 with Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.

Specifically, Arjuna Capital, et.al. ask Facebook to provide detailed information regarding the impact of current fake news flows and management systems on the democratic process, free speech, and a cohesive society, as well as reputational and operational risks from potential public policy developments. The full text of the Arjuna Capital shareholder proposal now before Facebook is available online at: http://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Fake-News-Proposal_Facebook.pdf.

In 2016, Arjuna Capital, in partnership with Baldwin Brothers Inc., made major waves in the tech world when it targeted the issue of gender pay equity. On April 27, 2016, eBay became the sixth major U.S. tech company to respond to shareholder calls for pay equity, following a 51 percent shareholder vote. As of that point in time, Arjuna Capital had achieved success in its shareholder engagements at six of nine companies it engaged: Intel (February 3rd), Apple (March 2nd), Amazon (March 23rd), Expedia (March 24th) and Microsoft (April 11th), all of which reported the gender pay gap is closed, near closed, or was to be closed shortly. Since that time, Adobe (July 25) has also reported its gender pay gap.

Natasha Lamb, managing partner at Arjuna Capital, said, “Fake news is not about spin or confirmation bias. It’s about fabrication. And when fabrication is disseminated so easily at scale, the way we have seen through social media, it represents a threat to our democracy. If Facebook maintains a platform of confusion and distortion it will lose the trust of its users, in which case they will simply move on to the next thing. At one point, we all thought that MySpace, Napster and other once-dominant online platforms would be around forever. Not the case. Few continue to get mail through AOL. That’s what concerns long-term investors. We need to know this is being handled responsibly over time.”

“Fake news isn’t a fake problem – it’s very real, and the major online platforms need to exercise real leadership in dealing with it,” said Michael Connor, Executive Director of Open MIC, a non-profit organization that works with investors on media and technology issues. Connor predicted that companies like Facebook and Google will increasingly need to “defend the integrity of the information and services they provide to their users, or else confront the risk that consumers will lose trust in them, no matter how popular those companies seem today.”

The “fake news” controversy undermines a core tenet of US democracy — an informed electorate. A December 2016 Pew Research survey found 64 percent of Americans say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about basic facts of current issues and events. This view was shared widely across incomes, education levels, and partisan affiliations.

As Facebook debates the distinctions between filtering and censorship internally, one analysis shows that false headlines generated more shares, reactions and comments than the 20 best performing mainstream news stories during the presidential campaigns.

Over the past two weeks, the fake news crisis has evolved into an international debate. On Monday, January 30, the British Parliament announced an investigation in the UK. The German government is contemplating a law to levy fines if Facebook does not promptly remove fake news posts. Handling of such content has profound implications for Facebook’s brand and reputation. If the company becomes synonymous with fake news, it poses enormous risks to investors, since it has the potential of becoming the most important cultural issue of the decade.

The full text of the Arjuna Capital/shareholder proposal submitted to Google in December 2016 is available online at: http://arjuna-capital.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Fake-news-Proposal_Googl.pdf.

Arjuna Capital is an investment firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. For more information, visit www.Arjuna-Capital.com.

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