Put Your Money Where It Matters: A Practical Intro to Impact Investment for Individuals

March 5th, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM | CIC Venture Cafe – Kendall Square

Impact is a word of currency and a subject of keen interest for those who care deeply about environmental and social sustainability. We’re fortunate that the Boston area has become a key ecosystem for thought leadership nationally, however high-level events and academic-leaning panels have left some of us wondering – How can we as individuals or as startups seeking funding get involved in this impact ecosystem? At BASG’s March 5th event, we will feature first-hand, boots-on-the-ground stories of impact investment to answer this question.

To help demystify how we can move from the sidelines to the playing field and get involved in direct impact investment, we will hear from:

  • A co-founder of a worker-owned, brew pub steps from the Massachusetts State House, who had the vision to turn an idea into a thriving business via a Direct Public Offering.
  • The co-founder of the US branch of the successful Canadian Social Venture Connexion (SVX), a platform offering broad access to impact investments that launched in the fall with a non-profit, raising growth capital.
  • One of the few local investment advisors who has done thorough due diligence on impact investment offerings and then made them available to his clients.

And we’ll learn about:

  • The Boston Ujima Project, which is challenging poverty and developing communities by organizing savings, businesses and customers to grow local wealth and make communities more self-sufficient. Ujima is raising funds now.
  • Active offerings for aspiring impact investors (1-2 minute pitches TBD)

Our evening will start with a brief introduction to what sets impact investment apart from socially responsible investing (SRI), followed by presentations, and plenty of time for discussion and networking.

Whether you’re starting a sustainable business, deploying sustainable solutions, looking to make small (or larger) investments, or just curious, our presenters will help guide you. And we hope you’ll bring your own stories, whether you’ve participated as an investor or startup, or in some other way have been involved in the impact movement!

BASG March 2019 - Speakers

Our Speakers

Daniel M. Flannery, CFA, President, Portfolio Manager & Chief Compliance Officer, Balanced Rock, Investment Advisors
Founder of Balanced Rock, Dan is a lifelong investor who believes high-quality investment and financial management can help us reach our most important personal and family goals, while achieving peace of mind. Prior to founding Balanced Rock, Dan worked as an asset manager of subsidized housing tax credit equity funds for institutional investors working his way up from office administrator to asset manager responsible for more than $200M of assets across multiple funds.

James Razsa, Co-Founder, CEO, Democracy Brewing
James brings a passion for worker coops and organizing to the team. Hailing from Gray, Maine, with a BA in Community Studies and Economic Justice from the UC Santa Cruz he has extensive experience in economic justice organizing including working for Young Workers United, a workers’ center that educates workers and recent immigrants on their rights as employees; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as a political and community organizer; and Jobs with Justice, where he coordinated campaigns bringing together labor, community, faith, student, and immigrant groups. He’s also a former Director of Campaigns for 350 Mass.

Lara Slachta, Bequia Securities, Co-Founder & CEO, FINRA Series 82, 63, 24
A securities attorney experienced in fund formation and investment management, Lara has practiced at top international firms and investment advisors including Wellington, WilmerHale and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She has formed over 50 private investment funds and represented limited partners in 100+ investments in private funds and companies. Lara also has deep experience advising startups on formation and VC financings and has formed and advised social enterprises and charities on many issues including for-profit and non-profit hybrid structures. In 2018, she founded Bequia Securities, a registered broker/dealer focused on infusing capital into social impact, sustainable businesses, and fintech. Prior to earning a J.D. from Yale Law School, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Amman, Jordan.

Lucas Turner-Owens, Fund Manager, Boston Ujima Project
As Fund Manager, Lucas provides Technical Assistance to entrepreneurs, connects them with business support organizations, gives financial education to Ujima’s investor base (many non-accredited), does loan packaging, underwriting, and manages Ujima’s portfolio of investments. Prior to Ujima, Lucas worked as an economic policy analyst for Operation HOPE, a nonprofit focused on consumer financial education where he advocated for public policy with a focus on building wealth in communities of color. Lucas also worked as a loan officer for Cooperation DC, providing technical assistance and expansion loans from impact investors to grow social enterprises and worker-owned co-ops in Washington D.C.

See you there!
~Carol, Tilly, Holly, Eric and Amy