Investment Philosophy

The University of Michigan Social Venture Fund (SVF) is an impact venture capital fund that invests in early stage (Seed, Bridge, or Series A), for-profit enterprises. Our portfolio companies generate measurable, positive social and/or environmental impact and absolute financial return. SVF focuses on domestic opportunities within four circles: Education, Health, Urban Revitalization, and Food Systems & Environment. The Fund seeks to invest $50,000-100,000 annually in one to two opportunities through equity or convertible debt note. SVF seeks to create and manage a diversified portfolio that combines financial, social, and environmental returns to deliver overall value that is commensurate with risk. SVF is an evergreen fund, investing all returns into existing portfolio companies or new enterprises.

Along with financial investment, the Social Venture Fund provides consulting services to its portfolio companies, increasing the value of the investment and improving the likelihood of success of the enterprise. Fund associates participate in portfolio consulting projects annually, and the Fund seeks to engage in thought leadership in the impact investing community, particularly among student-led funds and highly engaged portfolio management.

Our Investment Criteria

  • Social Enterprise: The Social Venture Fund focuses exclusively on for-profit social enterprises that are committed to positive and measurable social and/or environmental impact. In evaluating potential investments, we employ rigorous social and financial valuation techniques to ensure that companies have the potential to provide a strong blended social and financial return.
  • Alignment with Investment Areas: We invest in post-revenue companies responding to critical challenges within Education, Food Systems & Environmental, Health, and Urban Revitalization sectors.
  • Investment Amounts and Stage: We invest $50,000 – $100,000 in equity or convertible debt notes as part of larger capital rounds, typically seed or Series A. Post-investment, year-after-year, we provide our portfolio companies access to resources at the University of Michigan to help them scale quickly and deliver on their social or environmental mission.
  • Change Agent Entrepreneurs: We invest in inspiring leaders capable of assembling a world-class management team that shares their passion and commitment to the enterprise’s sustained impact.
  • Location: We focus on businesses based in the United States.