EDHEC Business School and Ring Capital have announced the creation of GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC, an impact seed fund for socially- and environmentally-responsible startups.
The fund will be co-managed by Ring Capital, a private equity firm dedicated to supporting startups that impact our world through responsible commitments and actions. This initiative demonstrates EDHEC and Ring Capital’s shared ambition to support entrepreneurial projects that drive social and environmental change.
EDHEC writes that it was among the first European business schools to focus on entrepreneurship, opening its first startup incubator in 2010. Today, EDHEC’s incubators launch 70 startups annually, more than half focusing on solving social and environmental challenges. As part of its ongoing commitment to responsible entrepreneurship, including introducing a unique Responsible by Design methodology for incubated companies, EDHEC is taking the next step and joining forces with Ring Capital to create GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC. This seed investment fund will support a new generation of entrepreneurs passionate about combining financial performance and social commitment, the firm says.
A partnership with impact
EDHEC chose Ring Capital to manage the GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC fund because they represent the standard in impact investing. Ring Capital will contribute its expertise to identify, finance, and support entrepreneurs seeking innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. EDHEC will also benefit from Ring Capital’s impressive track record in identifying impact projects and its industry-leading operational support services. When combined with the strength of EDHEC’s network, the GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC fund offers a unique value proposition for impact entrepreneurs in their seed phase.
Research and entrepreneurship to benefit future generations
This new fund will be financed with up to 20 million Euros from the EDHEC Business School Foundation (EDHEC sold Scientific Beta in January 2020) and school alumni. The fund’s creation illustrates the strength of EDHEC’s unique model, “Research for Business.”
“In the face of pressing societal challenges, we are proud to invest the proceeds of our high-value-added research in supporting impact projects,” says Emmanuel Métais, Dean of EDHEC Business School. “Encouraging entrepreneurship is part of our DNA. By creating GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC, we aim to support entrepreneurs who put all their energy into creating a sustainable transformation of the economy and society. In doing so, we create a virtuous circle: the value of our research allows us to nourish impact entrepreneurship, which will finance new solidarity projects for the EDHEC Foundation
tomorrow. We are very pleased to be associated with Ring Capital, whose financial expertise and commitment to society are widely recognised.”
To identify, finance and accompany startup companies, GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC will have a dedicated team, including two investors from Ring Capital: Gaspard Martin (EDHEC 2018, ex-MAIF Avenir) and Sibylle Behaghel (EDHEC 2020, ex-50 Partners). The team will also include three experienced EDHEC venture partners: Sandra Armstrong (EDHEC 1993), Jean-François Drweski (EDHEC 2004), and Didier Kuhn (EDHEC 1992).
A unique investment model
GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC writes that it is a unique fund mobilising multiple generations – alumni, entrepreneurs, and investors – behind a common goal: transforming the entrepreneurial ecosystem to tackle significant societal challenges.
The fund will be open to EDHEC graduates and entrepreneurs who want to positively impact the global economy and society. Ring Capital will select projects based on their potential to innovate in environmental transition, health and well-being, responsible consumption, as well as equity and inclusion.
“We are witnessing the emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs who are keen to propose solutions to the social and environmental challenges of our time,” says Ring Capital co-founder Nicolas Celier. “They are innovating and finding business models that enable them to align financial performance with impact performance. To achieve this, they must be supported by investors who understand the challenges. This is a unique opportunity for impact investors to identify and support these entrepreneurs, helping them to solve the biggest challenges facing the next generation. We’re delighted to have been chosen by EDHEC, a school that stands out for its dynamism, commitment, and values to put our experience and ecosystem to work on this mission.”
A community dedicated to positive change
The GENERATIONS Powered by EDHEC fund will benefit from EDHEC’s vast entrepreneurial ecosystem, which offers an impressive reservoir of knowledge and skills training in responsible entrepreneurship and innovation. EDHEC offers research in global entrepreneurship, degree programmes such as the MSc in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, entrepreneurial mentoring, workshops for key startup team members, and a network of experts that includes many EDHEC alumni and partners dedicated to environmental transition. In addition, entrepreneurs can immediately access the Responsible by Design methodology by EDHEC Entrepreneurs to build companies that meet sustainable economic, social, and environmental performance criteria from Day 1.
With this new fund, EDHEC aims to promote a “regenerative” business model that will positively impact society and the environment.