Innovation That Matters

Fund sells stakes in founders' personal income

Nonprofit & Social Cause

A truism among venture capitalists is that not only do they invest in promising business concepts; they also “invest in people.” Seeking to make that premise literally true, three social entrepreneurs recently united to form Thrust Fund, an online marketplace for personal investments. In an effort to generate growth capital for their social enterprises, the trio are using the site to offer up equity in their life’s earnings in exchange for an unrestricted upfront cash investment. Valuing themselves at USD 10M, Saul Garlick, founder of ThinkImpact, and Jon Gosier, founder of AppAfrica are each offering 3 percent of their future earnings in exchange for a USD 300,000 investment, while Kjerstin Erickson, founder of FORGE, is offering a 6 percent stake in her future earnings in exchange for USD 600,000. Investing in the individuals rather than in the organizations they founded, “Thrust Funders” do not acquire a portion of the entrepreneur’s venture; neither do they have any official say in how the investee uses the money. Thrust Fund aims to attract investors who are interested in meaningful opportunities that return both social and financial dividends. At a time when the transparency provided by social networking makes it easier for investors to examine people’s reputations, we expect to see more examples of the 1-to-1 investment model emerge in social enterprise and beyond.



Download PDF