A DONOR, TRUSTEE, AND INVESTOR MAKES HER FIRST IMPACT INVESTMENT INTO TECHNOLOGY COMPANY SILVERNEST
Nicole Bagley is an entrepreneur and the trustee of three family foundations. Her first impact investment followed her participation in CO Impact Days and Initiative where she learned about potential investment opportunities and how to make direct impact investments into social ventures. “What’s different about the Impact Finance Center and CO Impact Days and Initiative;· says Nicole, “is that instead of managing money, they are a nonprofit academic center supported by donors and foundations. IFC works to help others participate in impact investments without the conflict of interests of trying to sell you a service or product.”
Her first direct investment was into Silvernest – a woman-founded and led, Colorado-based social venture serving the growing aging population. Silvernest successfully leveraged impact investing to scale its business.
Silvernest offers a unique, affordable solution designed to help address the growing housing needs and concerns for the aging generation. Successful roommate matches help yield income for the homeowner, affordability for the housemate, and economic efficiency for both parties as well as companionship and connectivity which contribute to longevity. Silvernest addresses this need by seamlessly matching and connecting individuals who want to share a home via its safe and secure online platform and unique compatibility matching service.
Co-founders Wendi Burkhardt and Chuck and Debra McKenney bootstrapped the launch of Silvernest in 2015, with a combined personal investment of $200,000. They then sought additional seed capital to further validate the proof of concept in the Denver Metro Area and to refine the user experience and marketing tactics to ensure the ability to seamlessly scale into their next eight target markets.
When Silvernest attended CO Impact Days in March 2016, the team was working to secure $200,000 to close out an initial financing round of $300,000. The first $100,000 had already been secured employing a Convertible Note. As a result of participating in CO impact Days 2016, with additional assistance from the Impact Finance Center,
Silvernest attracted six impact investors who invested a total of $155,000 of a total raise of $1 .3 million since then.
This funding empowered Silvernest to serve communities across Colorado, as well as the major metro areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Tampa, and Phoenix. The next phase of expansion will include San Francisco, Seattle, East Lansing, Boston, and Santa Clara Valley.
The venture is now generating enough revenue from its homeowner memberships and background screenings that the goal of offsetting expenses for customer acquisition and direct costs is within reach. But it still requires new sources of funding for product enhancements as well as brand, market, and service expansion.
This year, at CO Impact Days, both Nicole and the Silvernest team will be back – again seeking investments and investment dollars, but also as veterans of impact investing. They will lead discussions on their experiences through the uniquely aligned connections they made through CO Impact Days.
Learn more about Silvernest at www.silvernest.com.