Workshop (*With Breakout Rooms)

How to Amass & Customize Capital for Long, Hard Problems

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Our guests will share their personal experience and new data to highlight a glaring problem in impact investing: current approaches aren’t helping us to solve society’s most intractable problems like affordable housing and development, education-to-employment, and financial inclusion. These problems are too big for your average impact investment ($2M according to the World Economic Forum) but not compatible with VC investors’ rapid return expectations nor PE’s ARR requirements. Passionate entrepreneurs with powerful, potential solutions are caught—unfunded or underfunded—in the middle. Our goal with this session is to give both entrepreneurs and investors a booster shot of inspiration and expertise to execute big, bold impact financings and start to achieve radical change. We will hear from four pioneers in customizing capital for massive problems—Sunwoo Hwang, founder & CEO of Sixup, who secured a landmark $27M debt deal from Goldman Sachs and the Rockefeller Foundation; Sherry Wang, managing director of Goldman’s Urban Investment Group, which deploys $1B a year, who helped mastermind Sixup’s deal; Rebecca Kantar, founder & CEO of Imbellus, who is on track to raise $50M in combined private and philanthropic dollars; and Rey Ramsey, interim CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and a serial entrepreneur himself, who has moved the foundation’s $400M+ endowment to 100% mission-aligned strategies with an eye toward increasingly innovative arrangements. Session participants will learn how to match problem to financing structure, what these deals look like, and how to get them done. As part of the flow, we’ll break out into facilitated discussion groups to highlight special considerations from each the investor and entrepreneur perspective and answer questions. Session participants will leave feeling inspired and equipped to customize capital for long, hard problems.

Confirmed Panelists

Rebecca Kantar, Founder & CEO, Imbellus

Rebecca Kantar is the founder and CEO of Imbellus. Imbellus builds simulation-based assessments that evaluate how people think instead of just what they know. In Imbellus’s bid to take on the stodgy testing industry and the likes of College Board and ACT, Rebecca has raised $24M in venture funding and built her team to ~60 learning scientists, game developers, artists, data scientists, and AI engineers. Imbellus currently deploys operational assessments in 30+ countries and six languages for McKinsey & Company and other corporate clients. Rebecca and her team are now poised to be a serious contender in K12 and college admissions testing, measuring the “21st century skills” often desired but rarely codified in high-stakes assessments. Prior to launching Imbellus, Rebecca dropped out of Harvard to found an expert network connecting entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. That business was acqui-hired by GLG in 2012, where Rebecca was an Entrepreneur In Residence.

Rey Ramsey, Interim President & CEO, Nathan Cummings Foundation

Rey Ramsey is an Independent Trustee and member of the Investment Committee, and interim CEO at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. He has focused on fulfilling the commitment to align 100% of NCF’s endowment with mission-related investment strategies. Rey is also Founder and CEO of Centri Capital, an investment firm designing and executing impact investment strategies with a focus on real estate development and affordable housing as a platform for human advancement. Rey has devoted his career to building and leading social enterprises. After serving as Oregon’s Director of Housing and Community Services, he held successive positions as President and COO of Enterprise Community Partners, Chairman of Habitat for Humanity International, and founding CEO and Chairman of One Economy Corporation, a nonprofit provider of internet services to low-income homes. Additionally, Rey served as President and CEO of TechNet, a bipartisan network of tech executives representing two million employees and $800 billion in revenues. He has served as Chairman of the NAACP Futures Commission, and now serves as a director on numerous boards, including Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainability, MMGL Real Estate, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Washington Jesuit Academy.

Unconfirmed Panelists

Sherry Wang, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

Ms. Wang is a Managing Director in the Urban Investment Group (UIG) within Goldman Sachs. Established in 2001, UIG deploys the firm’s capital in public-private real estate developments and socially-motivated companies that address the fundamental needs of low-income people across the United States. Ms. Wang also serves on the Advisory Board for Enterprise Community Partners. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Mathematics from Yale University, where she played Women’s Water Polo.

Sunwoo Hwang, Founder & CEO, Sixup

A first-generation college graduate, Sunwoo is a passionate advocate for young people facing the same challenges he faced – full of ambition and ability, but lacking the means necessary to reach their potential. After a successful career in global management consulting and working at SaaS and financial technology companies, Sunwoo came full circle. In early 2014, he started Sixup to apply his life experience, thinking, and energy to solve one of the most difficult problems facing the United States – increasing access to higher education and scaling economic mobility for the underserved. At Sixup, they believe that pathways to and through college, and the student loan financing system, are broken and must be fixed. Like Sunwoo, many of his team are high-achieving, low-income students and the first in their families to go to college. Sixup is innovating a system to transform undervalued, performing students into a new talent and asset class called FuturePrime™ to scale human capital into workforce and economic development. 

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