Entrepreneurs can access the Impact Beacon starting January 26, as well as attend an interactive workshop on Wednesday, January 27 to learn how to use the tool to enhance investor relationships, drive customer awareness and increase employee retention. Registration is now open here. We hope to see you there.
When I was growing up, my favorite books were the Choose Your Own Adventure books. I loved the ability to chart my own course. If you want to open the red door, go to page 23. If you want to open the blue door go to page 37. Of course, there were better paths and worse paths. When you hit a dead end, you could always go back, learn from your mistakes and try another path. Many of these elements mirror the journey of an entrepreneur — something we wanted to emulate and build upon as we thought about ways to be helpful to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs — this is designed to be a resource uniquely for you.
We recognize that your time is valuable — so this needs to be efficient. We recognize that you have a million things to work on — so this needs to be easy. We recognize that it is hard to predict the future — so we don’t care if the data is right or wrong. We recognize that measuring impact can build better companies — so we want to help. We acknowledge that storytelling can help with many key elements of value creation from PR to recruiting to sales to stakeholder relations — so we simply help tell a more impactful, more relatable story.
This is for you. You can use it as many times as you want. You can run different scenarios. You can use the data as you please. Just as your financial projections can help align interests and expectations, provide clarity on financial goals and ways to achieve, and establish a basis for valuation….the Impact Beacon can provide similar alignment, clarity and expectations around impact objectives. It can unlock new partnerships, new potential investors and or a new reason for being. It can be your impact north star — your Beacon, or it can never see the light of day. It’s up to you.
We have spent 16+ years in the impact investing world. We were doing this before the term existed. We have seen many players build their own impact measurement tools, their own lexicon, their own attempt to fix something that they perceive to be broken. This is not that. We are building the Impact Beacon as a complement to the amazing work done by people with and for BLab, IPAR, UN SDGs, IFC, IMP…and countless others. We hope to make their work more accessible and more visible. We have built this on top of their well crafted, thoughtful questions. The Impact Beacon is not designed to be as thorough, as rigorous, or as academic. It is not supposed to work for all sectors, for all stages, or for all geographies. If entrepreneurs like it, we can iterate and gradually increase our capabilities as a complementary player — with appreciation, admiration and the desire to help more entrepreneurs to build more impactful companies.
About the Impact Beacon
The Impact Beacon is an insights platform that allows entrepreneurs to use facts and figures to identify, evaluate, and articulate their impact.
For the first time, entrepreneurs can visualize and explore the positive impact of their business in a few simple steps. The Impact Beacon provides the entrepreneur with planning tools and a vision for the impact that they can build companies around. It was built to complement the hard work of impact platforms such as the Sustainable Development Goals, IRIS+, BLab, and the Impact Management Project (among others).
The Impact Beacon asks a short series of questions that take entrepreneurs less than two minutes to answer. The result is a shareable series of measurements and impact targets that they can use to demonstrate their company’s potential impact at scale. The metrics are mapped to those identified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and are linked back to third party research so entrepreneurs can explore the ties between their business and the potential outcomes it can achieve.
Entrepreneurs have been using the Impact Beacon’s downloadable output in pitch decks, websites, and marketing materials — which often results in better stakeholder relationships, employee retention and recruiting, and public relations. These entrepreneurs are also constantly improving the Impact Beacon by providing feedback and suggestions for additions, expanding the reach of the platform to other sectors and geographies outside the US. By making the impact storytelling process easy, accessible, and tangible, the Impact Beacon will help more entrepreneurs build more impactful companies.
About City Light
City Light is a Venture Capital firm that invests early in impactful companies. The firm partners with experienced teams building category-defining solutions in the areas of education, environment and personal safety and care — where more revenue equals better lives at scale, every time. As one of the earliest and most successful impact investing firms, City Light has a track record of identifying and scaling impact in ways that build better companies. Key portfolio investments are 2U (Nasdaq: TWOU), ShotSpotter (Nasdaq: SSTI), Trilogy Education, and OhmConnect.