Superpowers for Good: Leadership Lessons From—And For—the World's Great Changemakers

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Devin: Rebecca, what is your superpower?

Rebecca: It’s an interesting question. If I were to put it in a word, it would be “storm.” So the ability to create the storm and then the ability to have calm once the storm is brewing all around you.

Mark, what is your superpower?

Mark: My father was a theater professor, so I grew up deeply immersed in the theater. And probably my favorite thing about the theater is that it’s one big empathy machine. I mean, that’s what it functions as. I would like to say mine would be empathy because, quite frankly, the only way that we’re going to have any success and meet any needs is if we have radical empathy with the people that we’re caring for.

DealMaker, a leading player in the investment crowdfunding arena, and Renew Venture Capital, an impact-focused venture fund, have initiated a strategic collaboration. Rebecca Kacaba, DealMaker’s CEO, and Mark Hubbard, Renew VC’s managing partner, both joined me for this episode to explain the initiative.

“Renew Venture Capital is dedicated to funding, to supporting two kinds of founders,” Mark says. “One founder is an impact company that wants to be a big company. We also fund women and historically excluded founders.”

So long as impact-focused companies integrate their impact into the model such that economic success and impact are inextricably linked, Renew VC will consider them eligible, regardless of the race or gender of the founders. Conversely, if the founders are women or “historically excluded” people, the company must merely be “non-destructive,” Mark says.

“As the rails of pre-IPO capital raising, a big part of what we see on our system is equity crowdfunding,” Rebecca says. “We’re seeing that type of capital raising funding female and minority founders to the tune of a 15 to 30 percent higher rate than more traditional forms of finance.”

“This kind of impact on the world has always been a very personal part of the why— why I do what I do, why I get out of bed in the morning,” Rebecca adds.

Rebecca’s informal mantra is “better, faster, cheaper.” She explains:

Part of what we set out to do in building the DealMaker technology was really to create the rails for the pre-IPO world. We saw founders struggling with the costs of capital raising and it being a highly manual process, and we wanted to give them a technology that would help them do it better, faster, cheaper.

Mark and Rebecca’s collaboration will bring crowdfunded capital, typically under Regulation A, which allows up to $75 million in a single round, to companies where Renew VC invests its money.

Mark explains his logic for partnering with DealMaker:

The best tech, as it happens, is DealMaker. DealMaker happens to be founded by a brilliant securities attorney woman. It just couldn't be a better fit for us to be able to work together on this particular effort.

Our founders are social impact companies, women, and historically excluded founders. They're some of the best community builders in the world. Now they can take those communities and those customers and transform them from their current state right into owners and advocates.

So not only do you get the capital you need for expansion, [but] you also have now developed this whole new class of folks that are going to drive sales. So, you affect all levels of finance in the company. There are very few opportunities to do that in a capital stack. And that's incredibly exciting.

On top of the fact that you're also choosing to affect the financial lives of people of real people that care about what you're doing. You're choosing to affect their financial lives and perform for them in a way that you weren't ever able to bring people around a mission like that before.

Rebecca confirms that crowdfunded investors add value.

We have multiple clients who have told me—a robotics company, trucking parts company—who have told me the major contracts that they got through investors

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