Current and Previous Funds

Sustainability Investment Fund III

The Fund’s investment objective is to generate long-term capital appreciation through primarily equity investments in private companies. .  We believe that multiple, converging, global forces are creating a unique economic opportunity for businesses based on sustainable strategies.  Investments will focus on industries including clean energy, air and water purification, and materials that will have a global impact and support strong communities while reducing environmental impact.

Population growth and overall market growth place severe constraints on resources, energy, water and air.   These changes will create strong economic incentives and regulatory conditions that promote innovation and shift the demand curve toward cleaner, local, and lower impact products. In this context, we believe sustainability is a global market opportunity of extended duration and size.

The Fund focuses on companies in the Pacific Northwest that can have significant economic impact nationally and globally.  Portions of the Fund’s investments are expected to be in companies with developed product revenue that are transitioning to expanded growth. The Fund will also focus investments in early stage companies where the investment will be catalytic to the company’s future product growth and establishing its markets.

Sustainability Investment Fund 2008

Reference Capital Management established the Sustainability Investment Fund 2008, LP, to focus on early stage companies, primarily in the Northwest, that enable rapidly growing market opportunities in the sustainable economy.  The Fund seeks excellent returns for investors through a portfolio whose combined economic effects support efforts to improve society and the environment.

The Northwest United States and Western Canada possess strong, native attributes that support the emerging sustainable economy.  To capture this potential, to start and grow globally competitive companies, the Fund focused primarily on early stage opportunities with:

Globe  Sustainable products and resources, energy management and green technologies;
globe  Significant impact on the sustainable economy; and
globe  The ability to scale globally, but having compelling reasons to start locally

To help SIF 2008 portfolio companies succeed, the Fund managers collaborated with a group of national and regional investors and advisors from corporations and foundations.

Sustainability Investment Fund 2007

Reference Capital Management, LLC established the Sustainability Investment Fund 2007, LP to invest in early stage companies, primarily within the Northwest, targeting the rapidly growing opportunities in the sustainable economy.

Northwest Opportunity

The Pacific Northwest has strong native attributes that give it a leadership role in the emerging sustainable economy.  Efforts to live in greater harmony with the natural environment are embedded in the region’s policy and consumer ethos.  This is clearly reflected in regional preferences for green power, green buildings, local and organic foods, sustainable forestry, innovative transportation and land use planning and solid waste recycling.

This ethos has created a strong early adopter market that increasingly portends broader, global market opportunities in many key areas.  In addition, the Pacific Northwest has unique geographical access to some of the largest current markets for these products and services: California and China.  The region’s globally competitive workforce in semiconductors, apparel, agriculture manufacturing, and marketing, when partnered with ideas and technologies coming out of top tier research universities, create dynamic opportunities in the sustainable economy.

Consequently, the Northwest has strong potential to start and grow globally competitive companies.

The Approach

Investments focused on early stage companies that met the following criteria:

  • Products and services that reduce the environmental footprint
  • The ability to create a market-leading competitive advantage
  • Scalable beyond the Pacific Northwest

Previous Funds

Cascadia Partners and OLS preceded Reference Capital Management, investing institutional venture capital funds throughout the Northwest from 1986 – 2006.  During that period the Partners formed and committed five funds, including the Oregon Resource and Technology Development Fund and two funds headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The investments from Cascadia and OLS represented the first institutional capital in over one hundred companies.  In addition, about half of all firms funded by the team were based on technology originating from research institutions or corporate labs.

Cascadia and OLS focused primarily on opportunities in Life Sciences, Smart Energy and Sustainability, and Information Technology.