In this episode, Hall is joined by Josh Cohen of City Light Capital. Before investing, Josh began his career as an investment banking analyst at Alex Brown in the 1990’s. This led him to heading a corporate development group for a banking client company called Mobility Electronics. From there Josh joined a private debt firm; after selling part of that firm to a family office he wound up starting City Light Capital in 2004. City Light Capital is in the impact investing space. Josh relates how he came to impact investing after visiting Ground Zero and thinking about what he’d be remembered for if he had been in the Twin Towers.
Josh discusses impact investing and the future of that space. While he doesn’t see it replacing nonprofits, he thinks that nonprofits and for-profit companies be partners in solving some of the most audacious problems that exist. He gives some examples of for-profit companies working on products that could help solve some of society’s pressing issues.
In addition to criteria like team and market fit, he talks about how, with impact investing, you must look at investments that can have measurable social impact through the implementation of their core product or core technology. It is also critical that the business model be consistent with the implementation of that product or technology.
Josh goes on to talk about some of the challenges specific to impact investing. For him, it is important for the company’s goals to align with City Light’s definition of impact, otherwise they’re probably not the right partner for that entrepreneurial team. In addition, Josh talks about some of the sectors that align particularly well with the impact investing philosophy.
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Hall T Martin is the director of Investor Connect, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the education of investors for early-stage funding. All opinions expressed by Hall and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Investor Connect. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for the basis of investment decisions.