"The Innovative Impact Deal Structuring course content was world-class. The Efiko team have gone above and beyond in creating this fantastic resource for impact investors"
With a background in Venture Capital, Investment Manager Andrew Gray took our Innovative Impact Deal Structuring course once he accepted a position at Tilia Impact Ventures, an Impact Venture Capital Fund in the Czech Republic. Read about his experience here.
What motivated you to take the Innovative Impact Deal Structuring course?
“Deal structuring is a core part of my job. I frequently saw the need for innovative financing instruments to enable impactful companies to blossom, so I wanted to find out more about the instruments and approaches that I could use to better support potential investees. It was serendipitous to find Efiko Academy. The course content was spot-on, and that attracted me. I wish I had found this course sooner because it has shown me how to be more creative with how I structure investments in order to take on deals that I have turned down in the past.”
What did you think of the course’s hybrid structure, i.e., live online sessions plus self-paced content?
“I really enjoyed it, for two reasons: life gets so busy, with the new fundraising and the deals that we’re doing, so I really liked knowing that I had to get things done by certain deadlines because I was going to be with other people to discuss it. That was really important to me in terms of personal accountability. The second thing was that it was fantastic to meet people. I didn’t realise how international it was going to be, I thought it would just be people from Europe, but it was amazing to meet people from Africa and South America. I’d say that the unexpected huge benefit of the course was meeting other practitioners.”
Efiko aims to equip individuals and teams with the skills and abilities that help them excel at creating high and lasting impact
“The course showed me that impact comes in all shapes and sizes and that we as investors have a responsibility to be more creative with how we structure our instruments to enable impact.”
Financing impact ventures with tailored instruments
What was the main takeaway for you from the course?
“It was eye-opening to learn about the creativity that I have at my fingertips to structure deals once I understood the individual components of the underlying instruments. I also learned that I could custom-make an instrument to suit the specific needs of a deal. In Venture Capital, we want to do deals quickly and we’re in rounds with other people, therefore we tend to standardise everything. What clicked for me during the course was that the instruments we were using weren’t always fit for purpose. If we only had the right instruments, then we could have got a lot more funding for companies.”
“What Efiko can do is to take people like me and point me in the right direction of where I should read the right things, like impact measurement frameworks. All the resources that are available have been fantastic and I wasn’t aware of them to begin with.”
What did you think of the course trainers, Laura and Markus?
“I thought they were fantastic. These guys are world-class. We’ve had interactions with Laura before through FASE and found her really professional and knowledgeable. Markus brought his deep experience to the discussions and Laura brought really well-presented and well-prepared content – it was even better than I had expected. I was fortunate to have studied at a world-leading university and I have to say that the course content from Laura and Markus was right up there at that same level.”
“I would encourage as many investment practitioners as possible to explore this field of innovative finance to enable real change rather than investing in boring old B2B SaaS for the next ten years.”
Is there any advice you could give for people who would like to work in impact investing?
“I think that it’s one of the most meaningful and prolific careers that you can have. The amount of change that is required across every aspect of society and business in order to hit the goals that our governments have agreed on and that our planet desperately needs is so profound. It’s going to affect everything that we do. This field needs all the people that it can get to direct capital towards making change. Not only is it very rewarding, but it’s also incredibly necessary. I would encourage as many investment practitioners as possible to explore this rather than investing in boring old B2B SaaS for the next ten years.”