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Investors with Social Impact Focus

Social impact investing refers to investments made into companies, organizations and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social impact alongside a financial return. It represents an opportunity to invest charitable assets in the growth of our economy while producing financial returns and addressing systemic, social issues. In sum, it aligns the goals and aspirations of our communities, our most dynamic businesses and employers and the philanthropic sector.

Ice Miller represents both the for-profit investment funds and their tax-exempt investors (private foundations, public charities and donor-advised funds) in the creation and structuring of:
  • Charitable investment funds;
  • University-related venture and technology transfer funds;
  • Program-related investments (PRIs) by private foundations;
  • Mission-related investments (MRIs) by traditional public charities; and
  • Social impact investments by traditional investors.
For social impact resources, click here.

Representative Experience

IU Philanthropic Venture Fund

Indiana University Research & Technology Corp. (IURTC) catalyzes entrepreneurial activities at Indiana University and provides support for IU innovation-based startup companies. It advises and connects IU startups to capital and commercialization partners, industry mentors and leadership talent. It also develops appropriate programming and startup space to accelerate company growth.

Last summer, as part of its continuing efforts to contribute to the economic vitality of the state of Indiana by aiding the most promising ideas and startups, IURTC worked with Ice Miller’s Social Impact Team to launch the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund. The Fund provides capital to IU faculty, students and staff at all campuses to help them further develop their research and innovations into startup companies. Funding can be used for prototyping, proof-of-concept testing and equity investments, primarily at the initial stages of company development.  

Unlike traditional investment funds, the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is funded entirely through philanthropic dollars and allows donors the opportunity to support Hoosier innovation by deploying critical seed and early-stage capital into the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. With initial funding of $15 million from the IURTC and the IU Foundation and a goal of growing to $50 million, the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is the largest university-initiated fund in the state. 

As counsel to IURTC and the Fund, Ice Miller’s Social Impact Team created the Fund’s corporate and organizational documents, built its governance and operational infrastructure and worked closely with IURTC’s leadership to develop investment parameters and policies that carefully balanced market-based investment principals with the core philanthropic and educational motivations behind the Fund. By leveraging the Firm’s rich experience and deep bench in the venture capital and philanthropic spaces, Ice Miller helps forward-thinking innovators like IURTC and the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund generate positive financial and social returns in the community. 
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