Every year for the past three years, I have created an infographic to tell the story of the achievements from the year. I posted the 2014 infographic earlier this week. There is more to the year’s successes than the outcomes that can be counted and communicated in infographic form.
2014 was a pivotal year for Pique Ventures. It was the year that we were able to give access to impact investing tools, information, and opportunities to a wide range of people.
Most impact investments are accessible to investors who are accredited investors (high net worth individuals that meet a high income and/or asset threshold), foundations, other institutions or corporations. At Pique Ventures, we have a goal of making impact investing accessible to individuals who want to invest in something aligned with their values, that are passionate about local business and entrepreneurship, want to contribute their voice and expertise in a community of investors, but may or may not meet the accredited investor definition. In 2014, we achieved a number of milestones towards that goal.
Of the seven founding investors that invested in the first investment offering of the Pique Venture fund, four are accredited investors and three are not. In December we welcomed two new investors – both are not accredited investors. But we are all aligned to invest in a different way – one that has the potential for greater impact compared to other forms of investing and other investment products.
We launched the Integrated Investing course in Vancouver in May 2014, after piloting the content in the UK in the previous year. Two of our course attendees went on to become investors in the Pique Venture fund. We’ve made some of the content available, online in the form of videos and blog posts (links at the bottom of this post), as well as offline in our lunch and learns.
Access to Essential Resources is the primary concept of impact in Integrated Investing. In the case of the Pique Venture fund, the Essential Resources we give people access to are:
- resources for decision-making – in the form of investing tools, information, and experience. We want more people to have a say in the decisions of which companies get investment capital.
- resources for connection – people join the growing community of investors in the fund and have an opportunity to meet each other.
- resources for sustenance – we want more people to have access to the opportunity to participate in the economic outcomes of early-stage impact venture investing.
In addition to accessibility and our impact lens, we are committed to improving gender diversity in the investing space. We not only invest with a gender lens, we operate with a gender lens as well. Proudly, our seven founding investors are all women, whereas amongst most venture funds and angel investors, women make up less than 25% of the decision-makers and investor networks. We look forward to welcoming both men and women to our investor community, however we endeavour to work with more women to get their voices and decisions heard in the investment world and influence the proportion of women investors upwards.
In 2014, we were just getting started. We’re looking forward to helping more people access impact investing opportunities in 2015.