CHICAGO, October 11, 2011 — Second to none, Chicago takes the lead as a hub for impact investors in the Midwest. With the leadership of Impact Engine’s founding investment team of Chicago entrepreneurs Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, Dennis Barsema, Nick Rosa, Cary Chessick, Carol and Larry Levy, and Wendy Abrams, Impact Engine offers funding, resources and support to fuel social ventures in the region.
Navigating the complex balance of market opportunities and social impact is often elusive for budding social entrepreneurs seeking to address issues that include education, healthy food systems, urban economic development and environmental sustainability through business ventures. Government resources and charitable donations have proven woefully insufficient to address these challenges at a level that offers long-term and wide-ranging solutions.
“Impact Engine provides a home base in the Midwest for these entrepreneurs and investors to join forces to address the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges through dynamic market-based business ventures. The Chicago investment community is eager to partner with social entrepreneurs ready to take their ventures to the next level,” states Larry Levy.
Impact Engine is the first center in the Midwest designed precisely to accelerate the most promising ventures from concept to execution. Impact Engine’s inaugural cohort will include eight to twelve participating social entrepreneurs and their ventures selected through a competitive process.
Impact Engine offers $20,000 of upfront seed capital, a 12-week accelerator lab where participants will receive business strategy and development workshops led by successful social entrepreneurs from across the U.S., mentorship from the Midwest’s leading business executives, and access to a network of potential investors. Impact Engine will provide the ventures with a physical space centrally located in downtown Chicago and the platform to interact with other start-ups. Chicago Booth and Kellogg will both provide faculty expertise and student support.
“Seed capital, an expert network, master classes and a collaborative workspace are essential elements to foster innovation and leverage the talents and resources of the social entrepreneurship and investment communities,” states Nick Rosa.
For additional information on how to get involved, please visit Impact Engine’s website at: www.theimpactengine.com.