In 2015, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) incubated Efficiency Capital Corporation (ECC), a for-profit energy efficiency financing company over the course of three years, with a private investor. Incubating a social venture was one impact investment strategy TAF chose to advance its mandate of reducing barriers to and mobilizing investment in energy efficiency retrofits, a key strategic carbon reduction imperative in cities.
In 2017, TAF hired Catherine Lang Consulting and Rhythm Communications to perform a third-party evaluation of the development (incubation phase) of Efficiency Capital Corporation. We found key findings and best practices in four categories: Venture development strategy, venture development process and risk mitigation, startup investment, and governance and decision-making. We hope these findings will also be relevant to other not-for-profit organizations considering social venture development opportunities.