Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Feast in NYC- A Social Entrepreneurship Event



Jerri Chou

All Day Buffet


Social Entrepreneurship Event Brings Together the Best

For-Good For-Profit Ideas

Quick pitch competition brings together most innovative individuals to share, act, and invest in long-term change.

New York– (September, 2009) – On October 2, New York-based company All Day Buffet will assemble the world’s most socially minded investors, venture philanthropists and press for a cutting edge quick pitch competition in New York. The Kitchen will feature the most innovative for-good for-profit entrepreneurs looking to make the world a better place. Each venture will be have five minutes to pitch in front of industry-leading judges, speakers and an audience full of investors, entrepreneurs, and press.

An event the focuses on solving the world’s problems through creativity and business, The Kitchen is a part of Feast Social Innovation Conference – a cross disciplinary event that highlights the most creative ways of addressing the world’s most pressing issues. Part of the new social entrepreneurship movement, The Kitchen seeks to bring together leaders in the burgeoning space of socially responsible investment and business.

“For much too long, there’s been an irrational divide between doing business and doing good,” said Jerri Chou, Co-founder of All Day Buffet. “We want the world to see that sometimes, you can actually do more good and see more returns—social and otherwise—by investing in inherently good companies than by traditional “giving.”

Speakers, Judges and Presenters at The Kitchen include:


Nathaniel Whittmore, & Assetmap

Nathaniel Whittemore is the co-founder of Assetmap Strategies, a company that builds web tools to better help people leverage and share the resources that exist within their personal and professional networks. Previously, he was the founder of the Center for Global Engagement, a global service learning program design center at Northwestern University, from which he graduated in 2006. He writes about social entrepreneurship and innovation on and is fascinated by the ways in which the net generation are reshaping activism, careerism, and the pursuit of meaning.

Diana Ayton-Shenker, Fast Forward Fund

founder of Fast Forward Fund (FFF) and of Global Momenta, Diana Ayton-Shenker, focuses on accountability and impact through strategic philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and private-nonprofit partnerships. She brings 20 years of experience working with international organizations, private and corporate foundations, the U.N. and academia, to help leaders be more effective in affecting social change. Ms. Ayton-Shenker has held senior positions with Mercy Corps, PEN, Human Rights Watch, and has served on the board of several nonprofit organizations.

David Blumenstein,

David Blumenstein has made his mark as a technology strategist with broad skills across diverse technology platforms.  David brings his unparalleled network of technology leaders to The Hatchery and as well as his extensive experience in strategic and tactical deployment of new technologies, and background in advertising, marketing and finance.  Prior to The Hatchery, David was the Managing Director of Tekworks, specializing in Talent Management and Recruitment, CTO of EURO RSCG/MVMBS, Director of Technology for Ogilvy Interactive and Systems Analyst for Salomon Brothers.


Eric Friedman, Union Square Ventures

Eric Friedman is a net native originally from New York City. Eric has a background in information technology and advertising and has blended this skill set within his entrepreneurial pursuits. Eric began his career with his own IT consulting practice in high school, followed by joining an Internet Startup in 1999. Soon after graduating from George Washington University in 2004 with a B.B.A. in Marketing, Eric joined Grey Advertising. In 2006 Eric joined Reprise Media as an Account Manager specializing in SEM, SEO, and Social Media services.  Eric can be found blogging at

Bryan Birsic, Village Ventures

Prior to joining Village Ventures in 2007, Bryan started his career as a consultant at Bain & Company’s New York office. While at Bain, he advised Fortune 500 clients in the healthcare, financial services, consumer products and media industries on a variety of strategic issues including M&A, competitive positioning and adjacency growth. Bryan also worked in Bain’s private equity group performing due diligence on potential buyout targets. Bryan holds a B.A. in Political Economy from Williams College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Bryan lives in New York, NY and is active with local community organizations Big Brother Big Sister and City Year. While at Bain, Bryan founded and led an organization to significantly reduce the environmental impact of Bain’s operations that was featured in Forbes. He remains active in the organization in an advisory role and has also consulted other services companies on aligning responsible environmental practice with positive brand and financial outcomes. Bryan is a board observer for Babble and Extreme Reach.

Josh Cohen, City Light Capital

Josh Cohen is the Managing Partner of City Light Capital. Prior to creating CLCM, Josh co-founded City Light Capital (the predecessor fund to CLCM), which invested in and managed a portfolio of double bottom line companies. He is currently on the Board of Rotomotion and is an Observer to the Boards of Shotspotter and ImageSpan. He was formerly an Observer to the Board of Arxceo before it was acquired by JCI Group. Josh had previous venture capital experience working with a family office in St. Louis and the SV Group, a private debt fund.

Deb Parsons, Investors’ Circle

Deb currently serves as Co-Director for Investors’ Circle, emphasizing on Business Development, Membership, and Strategic Partnerships. Deb joins IC after being a member for 4 years at two member funds, SJF Ventures and Good Capital. For the past two years, she was Vice President at Good Capital, launching and managing the fund’s operational aspects, investor relations, and deployment of capital. Deb was an associate at SJF Ventures during business school, a community development venture fund focusing on cleantech and the LOHAS sector. Prior to school, she spent six years in business development, marketing, and partner management at WGGH, Intuit, and the North Face. Deb received her MBA from Kenan Flagler Business School, UNC_Chapel Hill, where she was a Carolina Venture Fellow with a focus on sustainable enterprise and entrepreneurship. As the Net Impact chapter leader, Deb launched the Sustainable Venture Capital Investment Competition (SVCIC), an event that puts MBA student teams in the role of VCs evaluating real business opportunities of socially-responsible businesses actively seeking capital. Raised in St. Louis, MO, Deb now calls San Francisco home.


Michael Mossoba,

Goodness500 makes it easy for people to learn which corporations are the most socially responsible.

Nicole Betancourt, Parent Earth

Connects busy parents to the newest and best ideas for raising healthy children on a sustainable and equitable planet.

Jose Serrano-Reyes, Trust Art

Trust Art is a social platform that is commissioning ten public artworks over the next year.

Marco Puccia, International Transperency Solutions

International Transparency Solutions is a startup company designed to connect investors and the developing world.

Monaqui Porter Young, Srina

Srina tea is 100% organically grown, hand-plucked, packaged and produced on a small scale farm in a rainforest in Sri Lanka.

Eli Halliwell, VotaVox

VotaVox collects opinions from voters around the world on issues that are meaningful to them.

Breatt Beach, Madecasse

Madécasse chocolate is the only chocolate produced bean to bar on the island of Madagascar.


Regular Ticket $99.00

Startup Ticket $50.00

Purchase online at


Friday, October 2, 2009

8:30 AM – 12:30 PM


Tribeca Grand Hotel

2 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY


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About All Day Buffet:

Changing the world through creativity and business. We put things into the world that make it a better place. For more information, visit

About The Feast:

The Feast is a cross-disciplinary series of programs addressing social innovation and new ways to make the world a better place. Culminating in a conference on Oct 1. The Feast Conference gathers the world’s greatest innovators from across industries and society to empower, inspire and engage each other in creating world-shaking change. For more information, visit

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More on L3C’s (Written by Robert Lang)

A particularly well written analysis posted on LinkedIn by Robert Lang, creator of the L3C. -Richard

We’ve had various questions in recent days about the L3C and thought this particular information might be useful.

All states have no choice but to recognize L3Cs from another state as they are a variant form of LLC and every state must honor every other state’s LLCs just as you can use a Delaware corporation in Idaho. In so far as revenue rulings go, the ones on LLCs would apply. It may elect pass through status just like any other LLC and would most likely do so. The IRS does recognize L3Cs but it is not going to give them the “Good Housekeeping” seal because it is not concerned with the generic group. Its interests relate to whether any particular L3C meets the conditions for investment by a particular foundation as a PRI. This is foundation specific. What is an acceptable PRI for one foundation may not be acceptable for another. The foundation must still use due diligence and work with its attorney both to choose the investment and negotiate the operating agreement to be sure if fulfills the foundation’s needs.

An L3C can get a grant from a foundation or the foundation can make a PRI investment. There are also ways for individuals and corporations to make a tax deductible contribution that ends up in the L3C. The L3C has the advantages of the flexibility of organization under the LLC laws. If properly put together the L3C integrates mission and income and eliminates UBIT issues and the regulations regarding percentage of control that a foundation may have in a for profit. Since a PRI into an L3C can replace a grant it also does not fall under the jeopardy investment regulations.

The L3C as an LLC allows the members of the L3C to make investments, have responsibilities, receive income, and have voting power in disproportionate relationships to one another. The LLC is effectively a partnership with corporate protection. That means that the operating agreement or contract among the members, can within the framework of the law, essentially embody whatever the members agree upon. This makes the L3C very well suited to membership by a disparate group of organizations.The membership could include corporations, nonprofits, government organizations and individuals. The nonprofit, could be given total day to day control and never invest a dime.

Finally the L3C designation as a brand will come to be recognized by the world at large for what it is. The transparency and efficiency will elevate L3C organizations from obscurity to high public awareness. Once that is achieved it will be far easier to get public investment in the L3C which is the eventual goal. We need to greatly reduce the burden on the very limited resources of the nonprofit community and allow businesses to perform many of the services in our society which can be performed under a for profit umbrella. For profits make a positive financial contribution to the community. An L3C will not be exempt from property tax so its existence makes positive contributions to the community without making a hit on the public treasury.

Written by Robert M. Lang
CEO, L3C Advisors, L3C

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Foundations Listen Up: Why PRI’s and L3C’s Matter

Whenever I see something that looks GREAT, I wonder if I am missing something…You know, the old; “Too good to be true”. Over the last many months, I have been doing due diligence on the most appropriate corporate structure for a film project I am working on called “Time To Impact”. The film has a social agenda; use the film to inspire philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and civic engagement to turn around Paterson, NJ, the third largest city in the state and one of the poorest in the nation in 365 days.

The biggest concern is raising money for the film project. I wondered whether I should set up as a for profit or nonprofit. Going the for profit route didn’t seem to feel good. For one thing, I didn’t want to have a perception that we were doing this just to make money. In addition, I wasn’t comfortable being the guy who says; “Oh, this is going to be the greatest thing since An Inconvenient Truth and Supersize Me. The appeal isn’t in how MUCH people can make, but for the benefit that the film will have from a social standpoint. The pure for profit model just didn’t feel right. On the other hand, setting up a nonprofit involves setting up a 501(c)3, a process that takes many months, requires a board of directors, and other things that just seemed to be a distraction from the main goal at hand. Compound those issues with the fact that we are in a very difficult fund raising environment, we are likely to be grouped with everyone else asking for money, the grant process itself is a labor intensive process, and getting access to for profit money is less likely (if not eliminated), and the nonprofit model also didn’t seem to fit. Months of contemplation on this, and still no decision. Recently, I started taking a closer look at L3C’s.

The more I learned about L3C’s, the more attractive they looked for our film project. Over the last month or so, I have had discussions about my project with some of the top minds in country on the L3C. They seem to agree. This seems to be the perfect fit. So what’s so great?

L3C’s are hybrids of for-profit and nonprofit entities. They are a for-profit company that first and foremost has a social agenda, and making money secondarily. This seemed to address my concern about the issue of perception of my motivation of “doing this just for money”. My understanding is, there are no limits to the profit, as long as the mission is socially oriented. Second, and what I perceive as most beneficial and cutting edge, is the fact that L3C’s automatically qualify as “Program Related Investments” (or PRI’s) for foundations. This is a big deal. Why?

According to Foundation Center, Program-related investments (PRIs) are investments made by foundations to support charitable activities that involve the potential return of capital within an established time frame. PRIs include financing methods commonly associated with banks or other private investors, such as loans, loan guarantees, linked deposits, and even equity investments in charitable organizations or in commercial ventures for charitable purposes.”

So what does that mean? It means a lot. Foundations are required by the IRS to give away 5% of their assets each year in order to maintain their tax status with the IRS. Traditionally, this 5% takes the form of grants to 501(c)3 charities (the kind we would have been). As a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional, I look at the 5% requirement this way. Starting with 100 percent of the foundation’s investment portfolio, 5% is given away. Those grants hopefully are being given out to worthy causes who will “invest” the money effectively and use it prudently, however it is difficult to determine what the “social return on investment” actually is because in many cases it is difficult to measure the actual social return. I could write another entire column on just that subject alone, but let’s not go there right now. So what is the actual social return on investment of the 5% money? Enter the L3C.

L3C’s are businesses just like any other. Good ones should have a tight business plan and expectation that they are going to earn a profit or else they would not exist. If a business goes to a bank for a loan, the bank wants to know what the likelihood the loan is going to be repaid. That is determined largely on the strength of the business. The BIG deal with the L3C and for the foundation, is that a foundation can invest in the L3C and has the opportunity to actually earn a return on the money. Better yet, the foundation’s investment into a PRI (L3C), COUNTS toward the 5% they must give away each year. Ok let’s stop and recap now.

From a purely capitalistic “non social” viewpoint for a second, the 5% given away represents a 100% loss (looking at it strictly as an investment). Foundations give to good causes which is why they are able to get a tax deduction for the contributions when money is put into them.

If a foundation has an opportunity to earn a return on money and get it back to give again by investing in profitable social business ventures, AND it counts toward money they must give away anyway, why aren’t more foundations doing this?

In an environment of depressed investment portfolios, isn’t this a wise thing do do?

Worst case, the investment doesn’t make money and you lose your investment. Consider it a grant, which is what you are already doing anyway.

Am I missing something here?

If I have piqued your interest, watch the video below. (I’m “The Philanthropic Advisor” in the trailer)

Foundations, let’s make a difference and turn around a city. Please consider helping us fund this film. Email me at to inquire.

Join the Movement:

Time To Impact Website

Facebook Fan Page

Time To Impact on Twitter @ImpactMovie

Richard J. Krasney on Twitter @PhilanthropyCFP

Richard J. Krasney on LinkedIn

By the way, nothing in this should be considered legal or financial advice and you should not rely on my opinions or the information expressed here in place of doing your own due diligence. Consult your financial professional before making any important financial decisions. This is just my opinion. End CYA.