Venture Capital Network Set to Invest Over $10 Million in Social Enterprises

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A network of socially responsible venture capitalists has announced it is accepting applications from early-stage social entrepreneurs for 2013 funding.

The network, called Investors’ Circle, invested more than $10 million in social enterprises in 2012, up from $2 million to $3 million in 2008-2009. The group plans to invest even more this year.

“The recent rise in our network’s investment levels are exciting,” remarked Justin Desrosiers, who leads the organization’s vetting process.

Applicants with the most promising social ventures will be given an opportunity to pitch their ideas at the Investors’ Circle Spring 2013 Venture Fair & Forum, scheduled for May 8–9 in San Francisco, Calif.

“Entrepreneurs in education, health and cleantech are enthusiastically encouraged to get their applications in for consideration and now is an optimal time to do it,” said Desrosiers.

Last year, Investors’ Circle invested in a variety of burgeoning social ventures. While the average deal size last year was around $350,000, four companies raised over $1 million.

One company that raised capital from Investors’ Circle in 2012 was Natural Systems Utilities (NSU), a sustainable water management company. Established in 2007, NSU is an innovative water and energy utility company that integrates planning, design, engineering, and long-term operation and financing of sustainable, water-centric infrastructure.

“Creating positive social and environmental impact is inherent in the core value proposition of our business, which is to deliver safe, reliable water to meet human needs while preserving and protecting freshwater resources and habitat,” stated the company.

“NSU offers an attractive alternative to traditional water management approaches that rely on a fossil fuel intensive, industrial-scale engineering and economic model.”

Applications for 2013 funding are due by the end of business on Friday, Feb. 1. Investors’ Circle charges a $200 application fee and encourages applicants to review its criteria and funding process.

Image credit: 401(K) 2013

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