In May, Investors’ Circle hosted its first national pitch event of the year at Morgan Lewis’ offices in Boston. This Beyond the Pitch (BTP) event gave stage to 12 terrific impact enterprises – an awesome opportunity to tell their stories, mix and mingle, and ask for funding from a full crowd of IC members and accredited investors. These BTP events are inspiring days for me; I’m continually amazed by the innovated ideas, the know-how, and the hard work of these social entrepreneurs and impact investors.

But this story wouldn’t be complete without a third party- that of Carl Valenstein. He has been a Partner at Morgan Lewis for over 20 years. He has done all of the things that successful lawyers do: domestic and international corporate and securities matters, mergers and acquisitions, project development, and asset finance covering a wide range of industries and regions, including developed and emerging markets (Latin America and Africa). Indeed, Carl is a very successful attorney and partner.

Carl has also provided legal assistance to microfinance institutions and assisted public charities, foundations, social enterprises and entrepreneurs, impact investment venture capital funds and other impact investors. Most recently, he founded and co-chairs the Morgan Lewis Impact Investment Initiative. As such, Carl was ready, willing, and excited to host IC in Boston as Morgan Lewis continues to advance their impact initiatives and IC does the same.

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to co-host Investors’ Circle’s Beyond the Pitch event. Having recently created our own initiative, we’re excited to share the same impact investment mission as Investors’ Circle. We look forward to continuing to work alongside them for similar national events and with IC local networks”
- Carl Valenstein

Carl’s transition from sponsor to partner was natural in light of our mutual interests. Over the course of the BTP event, he shared his expertise with members and other investors at a workshop that IC facilitated on alternative structures of impact deals. He also spent time with the IC community at a member reception the evening before the pitch event and watched a documentary co-produced by a founding IC member. On pitch day, he shared his legal insights and advice with a diverse set of social entrepreneurs who were seeking advice as they considered how to scale their businesses with new funding from IC members.

Morgan Lewis – and many others – realize that this work is worthwhile and profitable. IC is fortunate to have several partners that are equally supportive of our work around the country – Moye White’s Dominck Sekich in Colorado, Jonathan Storper at Hanson Bridgett in San Francisco, and Fred Hutchison of Hutchison Law in Raleigh-Durham – to name just a few.

IC partners realize that working with impact companies is not only an energizing addition to their usual work, but that it can be profitable and that it’s always worthwhile. They share IC’s vision and realize that a partnership of this sort puts them on the same side of the table as some of the most creative, passionate, and driven people in the world.

At Investors’ Circle, we believes that:

Business matters. Capitalism can - and should - be a force for good.

Risk-taking matters. Entrepreneurs and investors (and partners!) that take a chance change the world.

Relationships matter. Impact investing is greater than the sum of its parts.

Integrity matters. Be, don’t seem.

Fun matters. The Seven Dwarves were right…

If you do, too – join IC and Carl and our other partners, and come on board. Start the conversation with me here.