Articles by Leslie Labruto
Accelerating Social Unicorns: How an Impact Accelerator is Supporting the Innovators Who are Tackling the World’s Biggest Problems
The holy grail in venture capital is to invest in a “unicorn” — a startup that achieves a valuation of over $1 billion. But as Leslie Labruto at 100x Impact Accelerator explains, this approach overlooks the businesses and organizations that are tackling pressing societal issues at scale. She argues that it’s time to shift the focus to "social unicorns" that aim to make a massive positive social impact, and explores three keys to these enterprises' success.
The solar industry has helped over 360 million people in off-grid communities gain access to basic electricity – and the sector is moving beyond just lighting. Many companies now offer household appliances and, increasingly, “productive-use” appliances that support income-generating activities. However, investment in companies deploying these technologies remains minimal. Leslie Labruto at Acumen and Jeff Stottlemyer at CLASP explore the problem, and some potential solutions.
You might think that a lack of investment is the biggest problem facing off-grid energy companies. But as Leslie Labruto and Sarah Bieber at Acumen point out, in an industry that's seen over $1.4 billion invested since 2012, with only $50 million returned to investors, the lack of exits is an equally serious challenge. They discuss a new Acumen report that demonstrates how the shortage of exits is holding the sector back, and what can be done to address it.