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Active Impact Investments provides capital and talent to accelerate the growth of early-stage climate tech ventures catalyzing the transition from finite to infinite sources of energy, food, water, and products. They typically invest in revenue-generating startups with product-market-fit.
- Stage: Mostly Seed, some Pre Seed and Series A
- Check Size: $1.5M CAD
- Geography: US, Canada
- Lead/Follow: Lead Seed, Follow Series A
- Revenue/Valuation Thresholds: Generating revenue
About the Fund
Why was the fund created?
Mike Winterfield founded Active Impact Investments because after 15+ years across 4 industries, he wanted to do more than just earn a paycheck. He wanted to create a positive impact by working on climate change.
He didn’t set out to become a venture capitalist. Mike mentioned, “I sort of backed my way into [becoming an investor]. Between the change I was trying to create in the world, my experience, and what I was good at, I realized that helping startups is basically giving them access to executive skills that I could help them with.”
What is Active Impact Investments’ core belief?
Active Impact Investments is looking to invest in startups that can have a meaningful amount of impact – it has to move the needle on emissions and fight climate change at scale.
What domains in climate tech do Active Impact Investments have the greatest expertise in?
Active Impact Investments is focused on 4 verticals:
- Clean energy and transportation
- Smart infrastructure
- Sustainable food and water
- Circular and sharing economy
What type of portfolio support does Active Impact Investments provide?
Active Impact Investments regularly hears from startups in their portfolio that they are the most active investor on the cap table. Mike shared that each founder interacts with the Active Impact Investments team about 800 times a year.
In a business, 5% of your time should be spent on strategy and 95% should be spent on execution. Active Impact Investments aligns with this and works with founders, rather than just providing advice. Active Impact Investments can help startups with:
- Sales and marketing
Additionally, there are roughly 100 LPs backing Active Impact Investments that can open doors for portfolio companies.
What are Active Impact Investments’ investment process and timeline?
Active Impact Investments starts off by looking at if a company creates impact or not. This has to be a meaningful amount of impact, where at scale it would move the needle to fight climate change.
Active Impact Investments’ process is focused on relationship building and getting to know the startup. Their process is standard in terms of steps: a screening call, pre-screening memo, deal room meeting, pitch, due diligence, term sheet. Active Impact Investments can move as quickly as a startup needs.
What would make Active Impact Investments consider deviating from their typical criteria?
For Active Impact Investments, a startups’ impact and the founding team can convince them to invest outside of the typical criteria they look for.
About The Author
Co-Founder @ The Impact
Daniel currently works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Product Manager. Outside of his day job, he is a Principal at C3, Tech Scout at For ClimateTech, and Venture Scout at Prithvi. He also works with various climate incubators/accelerators (Cleantech Open, Techstars, and Joules Accelerator) and runs The Impact and Innovate Climate – both are newsletters covering startups in the climate space.