NEXUS Launches Impact Accelerator: Next Gen for Social Impact
(Above: NEXUS Impact Accelerator, Photo Credit: Teri Beardsley)
The world’s most philanthropic families provide social entrepreneurs with tools for success and growth in partnership with H/L Ventures, BNP Paribas Wealth Management, and sponsors.
NEXUS, a unique global community that brings together Next Gen philanthropists, impact investors and social innovators representing over $700B in family assets with a deep dedication to social impact, announced in mid-January the launch of its second annual NEXUS Impact Accelerator. To help manage this exciting program, NEXUS is partnering with H/L Ventures (“H/L”), one of the original venture studios and New York’s most active firm focused on impact and diversity. Working together, the NEXUS Impact Accelerator team is primed to bring value to impact-driven start-ups by combining powerful networks, varied experience, diversity in all respects, and potential access to capital.
“NEXUS embodies the values of impact, sustainability, mentorship, and creating positive change through entrepreneurship,” said Rachel Gerrol, Co-Founder and CEO of NEXUS. “Working with our partners at H/L and our excellent sponsors, we’re honored to help bring these start-ups to their next stage of growth. We can’t wait to see how each founder grows throughout the program.”
The NEXUS community has traditionally united powerful philanthropic leaders to discuss solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Combining its values of learning and evolution with the support of H/L, including the firm’s dynamic ecosystem and philosophy of daily active engagement, the NEXUS Impact Accelerator is an institutionalized way for the organization to support socially responsible startups that are solving critical global challenges.
Six start-ups were selected for this year’s NEXUS Impact Accelerator cohort, including clean energy-, sustainability-, water safety-, and financial equity-focused start-ups:
- Bloc Power: BlocPower is a climate technology startup that is making American cities greener, smarter and healthier. Since its founding in 2014, the company has retrofitted more than 1,200 buildings in disadvantaged communities in New York City, with projects underway in 26 cities. BlocPower uses proprietary software for analysis, leasing, project management, and monitoring of clean energy projects that save customers between 20-70 percent on annual energy costs.
- CNote: CNote is a women-led fintech platform helping individual and institutional investors align their fixed income and cash portfolios with their values. Hosting a nationwide network of community finance institutions, CNote helps investors reach their financial goals while driving greater economic justice in low-income communities and communities of color across the United States.
- LOLIWARE Inc.: LOLIWARE Inc. is an award-winning materials tech company on a mission to advance the planet towards a plastic-free, decarbonized future with products that are Designed to Disappear. The company’s innovative technology, SEA (Seaweed-derived, Emission-avoiding, Alternatives to plastic) represents a new category of scalable biopolymers derived from seaweed – a bio-renewable, regenerative, and carbon-sequestering input.
- Resolute Marine: Resolute Marine is developing an innovative technology that harnesses ocean wave energy to produce fresh water and electricity in off-grid areas of the world and provide relief from the harmful economic and social effects of water scarcity.
- Solstice: Solstice is dedicated to bringing affordable solar power to the 77% of Americans who cannot install a rooftop system. Their platform connects households and businesses to free community shared solar farms–giving them guaranteed electricity savings and access to local clean energy–and manages the customer experience for the life of the 20-year project.
- Spry: Spry is an NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) solution that meets and streamlines the unique needs of both athletic departments and student-athletes in one comprehensive technology platform. Designed by a former professional athlete (once a collegiate student-athlete) Spry empowers student-athletes to manage NIL opportunities and compliance while earning a foundational education for a “richer” future.
“We are thrilled to work with NEXUS on this exciting initiative,” said Oliver Libby, Co-Founding Managing Partner of H/L Ventures. “NEXUS and H/L, along with our extraordinary sponsors, share the belief that the nexus between growth, impact, and diversity is where truly exciting companies can be found and nurtured. The start-up economy can be a powerful engine of social change when supported by mission-driven partners like NEXUS.”
BNP Paribas Wealth Management is the lead sponsor of the Accelerator, joined by DLA Piper, Acru Solutions, and H/L itself in support of this community of founders. These sponsors play a meaningful role in the development of these world-changing ideas by supporting the early-stage entrepreneurs and sharing their expertise through customized experiences.
“We are very happy to share our industry knowledge and contacts with social entrepreneurs to help grow and scale their businesses,” said Pierre Ramadier, Global Head of Entrepreneurs and Families, BNP Paribas Wealth Management. “The six carefully selected BNP Paribas mentors will put their extensive experience in impact investing, corporate banking, sustainable finance, philanthropy and innovative business development at the service of these socially-responsible startups to help them build a more inclusive and sustainable world.”
Through the NEXUS Impact Accelerator, start-up founders will gain access to powerful networks, a plethora of experience across different industries, a welcoming and diverse culture, and potential opportunities to raise capital. The program will provide founders with a holistic experience, including a structured mentorship plan, coaching, and masterclasses with luminaries and experts. These founders will also have a platform to share their stories with thousands of NEXUS members virtually and in person at the NEXUS Summit.
Past members of the inaugural NEXUS Impact Accelerator program have gone on to achieve great success with their chosen ventures, including Sam Teicher, who recently won Prince William’s Earth Prize for Oceans restoration for his work founding . Other past founders include Marita Cheng, Founder & CEO of Aubot; Felix Böck, Founder & CEO of ChopValue; Katharina Sophia Volz, Founder & CEO of OccamzRazor; Ivelyse Andino, Founder & CEO of Radical Health; Emily Best, Founder & CEO of Seed & Spark; and Blayne Ross, Co-Founder & CEO of ShoreLock.
For more information visit NEXUS Impact Accelerator.
NEXUS is a global community that brings together next gen philanthropists, impact investors and social innovators from many of the world’s leading business families to educate, inspire and activate tomorrow’s leaders. With over 6000 Members from 70 countries, we work to catalyze new leadership and accelerate needed political, societal, indigenous, financial, environmental, and equal justice solutions. NEXUS has hosted over 40 Summits across six continents to connect the next gen with unique influence, access and resources from diverse backgrounds and link communities that would otherwise never meet.
About H/L Ventures
Hatzimemos/Libby Holdings LLC, (“H/L Ventures“) strives to help mission-driven founders build inspiring, valuable companies from inception to exit. Founded in 2009, H/L Ventures began its history as one of the first modern venture studios, and certainly among the earliest company-building firms focused on start-ups at the nexus of growth, impact, and diversity. H/L Ventures is specifically designed to deliver on Daily Active Engagement with all its portfolio companies, providing an unparalleled ecosystem of resources to entrepreneurs throughout their journey. These resources include a core studio team of more than thirty core staff and Venture Partners, the CityRock Series A fund, a Trusted Partner Network, select managed services, and more. A large majority of H/L Ventures’ studio-backed companies feature diverse founding teams, all of the CityRock fund’s portfolio companies have underrepresented founding CEOs, and 92% of every dollar invested by H/L Ventures has gone to underrepresented founders. In addition, every one of H/L Ventures’ more than thirty portfolio companies has both a strong case for economic performance and also a mission to protect and promote people and the planet.
About BNP Paribas Wealth Management
BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a leading global private bank and the largest private bank in the Eurozone with €411 billion worth of assets under management as at September 2021. Present in three hubs in Europe, Asia and the United States, it employs over 6,800 professionals who support High-Net-Worth and Ultra-High-Net-Worth individuals in protecting, growing and passing on their assets. The bank aims at building a sustainable future by combining its deep expertise and reach with its clients’ influence and desire for impact. The bank was recently named Best Private Bank in Europe, in North Asia, in US West and in the Middle East.