Social Impact Venture Investor Shares Three Insights For Entrepreneurs
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Nancy Pfund, founder and managing partner of DBL Partners, has invested in some of the biggest and most successful social entrepreneurs of our time, having stakes in both Tesla and SolarCity, among others. Pfund shared some insights with me and will share more live.
First, Pfund predicts a transformation of global energy over the next decade.
Over the next 10 years, investing in energy will shift from being dominated by investing in fossil-based large oil and gas companies ,regulated utility monopolies, and gas-powered car companies to including a plethora of clean technology , digital platforms and consumer-driven solutions providers. This transition will be messy, but will result in a 21st century energy industry that addresses 21st century needs of consumer choice, value, sustainability and reliability . It will also bring electiricity and a ticket to the middle class for the 1.3 billion people on this planet without access to electricity.
Second, she anticipates that millennials will cause a shift in the workplace.
As millenials become the largest part of the workforce, they will transform the sectors of recruiting and career building to make it serve their needs of cultural fit, meaning and fulfillment with tools that they own, like video , media and mobile resources. These tools will better address needs of women and minority millenials as well as traditional male career builders.
Third, Pfund says our food supply will undergo radical changes driven both by consumer demand and technological advances.
Agriculture and food are shifting to a sustainable platform that will increasingly put farmers and consumers first, not traditional agribusiness companies and relationships. Big data will empower farmers to build their communities, making better decisions and purchases with a reduced need for intermediaries. This will result in reduced use of natural resources like energy and water and drive down the levels of chemicals and pesticides used in production. Consumers will create strong demand for healthier and less chemical and natural resource intensive food products.
On Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Pfund will join me for a live discussion about these insights and more that she will offer for social entrepreneurs. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about DBL Partners:
Double Bottom Line Venture Capital: We invest for both top tier financial returns and social returns. By social returns, we mean that we work to bring social, environmental and economic progress in the region’s and sectors in which we invest. Portfolio companies include Powerlight (sold to SunPower), Tesla , Pandora, SolarCity, MAIYET, The RealReal, Farmer’s Business Network, The Muse.
Nancy Pfund, courtesy of DBL Partners
Nancy E. Pfund is Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Partners, located in San Francisco and Palo Alto. DBL Partners is a venture capital firm whose goal is to combine top-tier financial returns with meaningful social, economic and environmental returns in the regions and sectors in which it invests. As a leading player in the growing field of “impact investing”, DBL has helped to reveal the power of venture capital to promote social change and environmental improvement, and Ms. Pfund writes and speaks frequently on this topic. She sponsors or sits on the board of directors of several companies, including; SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY) on both the audit and compensation committees, Farmer’s Business Network, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Off-Grid Electric, Primus Power, The Muse, and, prior to their public offerings, Tesla Motors and Pandora. Ms. Pfund was featured #17 in the 2014 FORTUNE Inaugural World’s Top 25 Eco-Innovators; and is Chair of the Advisory Council of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University; a member of the Advisory Board of: the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab); and the UC Davis Center for Energy Efficiency, and a Trustee of the National Geographic Society. She has been a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Yale School of Management; and is a C3E Ambassador to the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Program, led by the U.S. Department of Energy. She is also a founding officer and director of ABC2, a foundation aimed at accelerating a cure for brain cancer. Ms. Pfund received her BA and MA in anthropology from Stanford University, and her MBA from the Yale School of Management.
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