MIT Solve, a Cambridge, Mass.-based initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing problems, has launched a philanthropic venture fund.
The Solve Innovation Fund will raise $30m over time from philanthropic donors who can contribute through tax-deductible gifts to MIT.
The fund will make debt and equity investments in for-profit Solver teams that are selected through Solve’s annual open innovation Global Challenges. Returns from Fund investments will be reinvested into future Solver teams, allowing donor money to be recycled several times through the Fund, and creating a pay-it-forward mechanism for Solver teams.
The Solve Innovation Fund will be set up as a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF), independent to and external to MIT, with MIT Solve acting as the donor-advisor. The Fund’s structure is innovative as a dedicated venture fund structured as a DAF, and will serve as a model to unlock significantly more capital towards early-stage social entrepreneurs globally.
Noubar Afeyan, Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering and MIT Corporation member, is the founding anchor of the Solve Innovation Fund, committing up to $3 million to the Fund.
In the last two years, Solve has brokered commitments of over $12m in funding for Solver teams and entrepreneurs, primarily in the form of grant capital, to address the funding gap for high-impact solutions.
The new Fund is the next evolution of this work, as it will provide investment financing for Solver teams, and thus help bridge the pioneering gap—providing critical capital for early-stage social entrepreneurs when they need it most.
Led by Alex Amouyel, Executive Director, MIT Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing problems.
Solve issues four Global Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams who will drive transformational change. It then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.
Solve’s current open Challenges are open until July 1 and include:
(1) Circular Economy,
(2) Community-Driven Innovation,
(3) Early Childhood Development, and
(4) Healthy Cities.