Tag Archives: giving


Impact Engine – Part 5

VERBATIM by Loop Lonagan – Investor and man about town,

as told to John Jonelis

Impact Engine

Loop Lonagan back at Impact Engine Investors Day. The Chase auditorium’s packed with angel investors and venture capitalists AND philanthropists that’d rather invest in self-sustaining ventures than just dump their money down the old rat hole.

Shayan Nahrvar of Raise5

Shayan Nahrvar of Raise5 at Impact Engine

Y’know, it ain’t easy fer these companies to get this far. Most startups just grub fer money. These guys gotta make money BY DOIN’ GOOD. And these is da ones Impact Engine picked to do the job. Let’s sit back and talk about one o’ dem.

Logo large

Do what you love to support the causes you care about


Raise5 founder, Shayan Nahvar, (pronounced SHI-an nah-VARR) is a real likable and well-spoken young man.

Shayan Nahvar of Raise5

Shayan Nahvar of Raise5

No sooner does he start his pitch than up pops a video. And whoa–it’s Richard Branson! Richard Branson is pitching Raise5!

I didn’t see no celebrity endorsements at FFF this morning, but these guys at Impact Engine pulled it off. Makes me feel like they can pull off most anything.

This’s a whole new crowdsourced fundraising channel fer charities. Raise5 turns yer ordinary purchases into donations. AND they do it cheap. NGOs spend 35 cents on every dollar they raise–just to raise that dollar. That don’t make no sense to me. Raise5 can bring that down to somewhere in the 8-15 cent range ‘n’ make a profit doin’ it! That’s self-sustaining.

I can hear summa you Scrooges in da back grumblin’ and groanin’ about what da hell’s da purpose o’ just givin’ it away. Hey, lotsa companies wanna give back. And lotsa regular folks too. And this ain’t just fer Microsoft ‘n’ them guys. Artists and all kindsa folks can get in on the action. And the secret of it is this:  It’s not just da charity that benefits.  It’s the giver, as you’ll see:

Say you wanna support The Nellie Thursday Home For Old Dollsa legitamate charity. Maybe you got a garage band that does a revival act of an old group like The Monkeys or somethin’–one o’ them that’s better to ferget.  Maybe you know a few more bands that ape awful old acts. Hey–all together it could be a great show!  So youse guys put together a concert and have a whale of a good time while you raise money fer Nellie.  Here’s how it works:


Raise5 Website


How to become a freelance fundraiser:

  • Ya slide on over to the Raise5 site
  • Ya plug in yer service or product. 
  • Ya set yer price and da charity that gets da proceeds

That’s it! Raise5 does the rest.  Whadaya waitin’ fer?


.Raise5 Sample

Here’s a real example:  Look at dis screenshot detail. Adam is willin’ to blast yer weblink to his 20,000 Twitter followers fer five lousy bucks.  The money goes to da WSPA t’ help dem furry creatures.  John’s gonna foam at the mouth when he sees dis ’cause he’s tryin’ t’ promote his new novel ‘n’ dis is the way to do it.


Here’s another offer:  Fer a measley five bucks, you can get a great Raise5 Offercaracature like dis one.  Money goes to Doctors Without Borders.  How can you lose?


Dis is a win/win/win setup:

  • Charities get a new way to raise funds.
  • Individuals ‘n’ companies get a new way to create impact ‘n’ social change.
  • Customers get to buy something great, knowing their money’ll make a difference.


Check out dis COOL VIDEO:


Da Business

Hey, there’s 1.6 million not-fer-profits in the good ol’ US of A just waiting t’ be served and 4000 right here in Chi-town. Raise5 takes a transaction fee from every sale, so the more money they make the more impact they have. What more do I need to say?



Go back to Part 1


Da Contacts

Raise5raise5.comRaise5 logo

3234 North Richmond Street,

Chicago, Illinois, 60618

Crain’s Chicago Business covered this event and ran a nice article: www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121206/BLOGS06/121209884


Impact Enginewww.TheImpactEngine.com

Contact Linda Darragh – L-Darragh@Kellogg.Northwestern.edu


Images courtesy of Raise 5 and Impact Engine

.Impact Engine large

Whadaya Think?

You’re invited t’ leave yer opinion. No, you don’t hafta leave yer name or email or nothin’. Just be polite. And keep it clean.  Click the COMMENTS command at da bottom.


Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved



Filed under 1871, angel, angel capital, angel investor, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, CORE Insight Story, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, FFF, Impact Engine, Impact Investing, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Internet, Internet Marketing, investor, Kellogg, loop lonagan, Marketing, new companies, philanthropist, philanthropy, pitch, vc, venture capital


I’m at BNC Venture Capital. I came to see two exciting companies that have already crossed my radar screen. One easily won the recent FFF event and the other was in the top three.

BNC Venture Capital

BNC Venture Capital – jaj

I like Business Network Chicago events because they’re ALL BUSINESS. Most other events are all hype, but here, each company gets grilled with five standard questions:

1.) Exactly what is the product or service?
2.) Why should the customer buy it?
3.) Is the management team the best in the business?
4.) How does the company make money?
5.) How does the investor make money?

That’s tough and hard-nosed and that’s why I like it. Not every startup is ready to subject itself to this kind of rigor, but Len Bland manages to find three each month. The fact that he and Ray Markman are starting the Midwest Renaissance Fund probably creates a big draw to qualified companies.

After the presentation and grilling, the audience votes on a 1-10 scale. A score of “1” is considered “entre-manure” while a score of “10” means, “Where’s Grandma’s pension fund?” I’ll give you a quick peak into what two of these companies are doing:


Editor’s Note – YOUTOPIA picked up three angel investors at this meeting and achieved their stage-one funding goals.

The e-Harmony of Altruism

• Today, school districts across the nation require 40 hours of community service for graduation. Kids get stuck doing meaningless tasks that don’t match their interest. With Youtopia, the engagement starts with “What do you like?” The answer might be, “I like cats.” So maybe the system hooks-up the kid with an animal shelter.

• Under the present system, tracking is almost non-existent. With Youtopia, a web and mobile application enables schools to track and generate an organized social report card complete with recommendations for college admission offices.

• The business connection is huge as well. Corporations dearly want to advertise this kind of altruism.

Simeon Schnapper & Brett Singer of Youtopia

Simeon Schnapper & Brett Singer of Youtopia

Become a Youtopian

They already launched two weeks ago with three customers while they continue to develop their model. I like that aggressive approach.

This company was the subject of my previous article, DOT – A FILM

Some Backstory – I was already familiar with Youtopia.  I saw them present at the recent Funding Feeding Frenzy.  It happened at the end of a long day—after the judges got plenty hot and cranky. One of them turned on the presenter.  The others followed like lemmings.  As far as I could see, they’d just blown their chance to invest in a really exceptional company.

Disgusted, I visited YouTopia at their downtown offices. These guys are highly creative and very coachable. I gave them a transcript of their FFF presentation, complete with Q&A.  They took all my suggestions, even improved upon them.  Then they accepted coaching from Len Bland and crew and delivered a sparkling performance at BNC.  And they picked up three angel investors tonight.  That completes their stage one round.



Jerry Freeman of PaletteApp

Jerry Freeman of PaletteApp – jaj

PaletteApp is a digital design tool that helps manufacturers, designers, architects, and contractors, accelerate the design and sample ordering process. With a vast library of products, designers can put together a package in mere minutes.

This company recently walked away with the Funding Feeding Frenzy grand prize—and well deserved. Tonight, at BNC, they make a big stir. PaletteApp proposes to change the 150-year-old way architectural design is done. In the process, they’ll transform a job that takes many man-hours into a joyful process that takes just a few minutes.  What used to take 5 hours now can be done in 15 minutes.



These two tied for first place in the voting. At present time, PaletteApp is further along while Youtopia holds the promise of going viral and becoming over-the-top profitable.

Youtopia – Simeon Schnapper and Brett Singer – https://youtopia.com

PaletteApp –Jerry Freeman – www.paletteapp.com

BNC Venture Capital – Len Bland – http://bnchicago.org/Groups.php?group=8

Funding Feeding Frenzy – David Culver – www.fundingfeedingfrenzy.com





Find Chicago Venture Magazine at www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts are welcomed and encouraged. This is not investment advice – do your own due diligence. I cannot guarantee accuracy but I give you my best.

Copyright © 2012 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved


Filed under BNC Venture Capital, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, CORE Insight Story, Entrepreneurship, FFF, Innovation, Invention, Midwest Renaissance Fund, Software