06 Apr WHARTON ANNOUNCES LARGEST STUDENT-RUN PLATFORM FOR IMPACT INVESTING
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced today a new collaboration to provide students with world-class experiential training in impact investment, and to greatly expand the student-run Wharton Social Venture Fund (WSVF), a flagship program operated under theWharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII).
WSII, the School’s hub for social impact activities, research, and opportunities, will lead the collaboration with investment firm Locust Walk Impact Partnerswww.lwimpact.com and Our Crowd, an equity-based online crowdfunding platform. This development makes Wharton’s offering the largest and most active student-run impact investing fund in the world.
In this unique model, WSII trains and supervises MBA and select Wharton undergraduates in the social and economic disciplines of impact investing. As a “field placement,” these students are given the exclusive opportunity to work with Locust Walk Impact Partners to identify genuine investment opportunities; capital for these investments will come through a special social impact channel on the Our Crowd crowd-funding platform.
We are delighted that our students are getting real-life, experiential education in impact investing,
It was important for WSII to maintain our focus squarely on the educational opportunity for students. This way Locust Walk can focus on doing great deals, Our Crowd brings a platform for investors, and Wharton brings the best students in the world.
As the largest and most active equity-funding crowd platform, Our Crowd is disrupting and democratizing the traditional Angel and Venture Capital funding models.
We are already doing a deal every week on the Our Crowd platform,
and we think there is great appetite for impact investing. With this arrangement, any accredited investor can join a deal for only $10,000. Our hope is that working with Locust Walk and the Wharton Social Venture Fund together will greatly expand the impact investing ecosystem.
Locust Walk Impact Partners is led by Rob Fioretti, a Wharton graduate.
We’re proud to have talented Wharton MBAs trained by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative. I think these are some of the finest young financial minds in the world,” says Fioretti. “And largely due to their talents, we are finding the best deals with social impact and then, through Our Crowd, making these investment opportunities available to accredited investors anywhere in the world.
Founded in 2007, the WSVF portfolio has included strategy and co-investment projects, with an approach focused on companies in education, energy, health and wellness, food and nutrition, environmental sustainability, and financial inclusion. The group also annually competes in the MBA Impact Investing Network & Training Program (MIINT) and has won the competition two of the last three years.
The collaboration among The Wharton Social Venture Fund, Our Crowd and Locust Walk Impact Partners will take effect immediately. Locust Walk expects the first deals to hit the platform this April.