Sandeep is an Angel Impact investor who currently consults MongoDB to manage their databases and invest in promising projects. In this episode, find out what it takes to invest in technology companies to make a difference. And if you’re a social impact entrepreneur, listen in to hear what technology investors are looking for.
In this episode we cover:
- The story of how Sandeep became an angel impact investor.
- The mindset shift into investing into socially driven companies and his background in investing.
- Companies he is currently invested in and which Global Goals they cover.
- ECOR Global – The Responsible Consumption Company that Sandeep works with.
- Cascadian Farms – Local Farms Creating Organic Products, Sandeep works with them as well.
- How impact investing will play a part of the global goals.
- The case for how blockchain can revolutionize the way we will consume products in the future.
Sandeep started investing through stock trading. He started at the Ernst and Young office consulting financial institutions to optimize their technology costs. He traveled a lot, and after 3 years he realized it wasn’t worth it to be away from his family that much.
Sandeep learned to love impact investing after giving to charities and realizing he didn’t know what impact his funds were making. With proven technology or promising technology companies, Sandeep can give to projects he cares about and also track and mentor the companies he invests in.
The Cool Companies Sandeep Invests In
“I actively scope out companies like Cascadian Farms. They have a really cool program where they are incentivizing children to plant flowers and grow the bee population.
…I don’t wait for entrepreneurs who are looking for help and capital. Everyone needs help, and everyone wants to grow.”
Sandeep talks about a company his wife is working on, too. Their company sources ethically grown tea leaves. This tea company is unique because they produce teas like Chai that don’t have the chemicals that most manufactured teas contain.
Sandeep says he doesn’t know very many social entrepreneurs, and the values-basis of his investing choice gives him the freedom to work with all kinds of companies. “Anyone that has children and are involved with their children, they are more likely to meet people that are doing good things for society.”
Exponential Tech and The Global Goals
“There’s so much due diligence that has to go into any company, exponential companies included,” Sandeep says. For example, in a study of Prius vs BMW environmental impact, it turned out that the amount of sulfur and noxious gases produced by Prius batteries outweighed the gases produced by making an entire BMW. “So, we have to be careful about misinformation,” Sandeep says.
Though we may think our iPad saves trees, it takes a deeper look to see whether the rubber on the wires and the glass production is actually worse than the environment than paper.
In food production, BHT is a chemical used to preserve food. It’s banned all over the world except in the US. BHT causes ADD, and we don’t even know about it. We’re more aware of food sourcing though, Sandeep says, since people rarely think about where their computer comes from.
Impact Investing and Accomplishing the Global Goals by 2030
“It takes one bad president or prime minister to mess it all up,” he says. Something like the Paris Accord can reduce motivation to make ethical business decisions instead of ROI-based decisions.
The other element besides legislation is consumer preferences. Once consumer demand moves toward responsible production, the market will shift. Currently, people don’t think twice about where their iPhone screen is produced, or the labor laws around outsourced technology production.
Companies can be incentivized with fines for poor production standards, which some companies are taking on. But if the economic drivers don’t believe in global warming, then the industry will continue to steamroll the environment.
Increasingly, sustainable products and technologies are outsourcing to Europe because the leadership there believes wholeheartedly in Global Warming.
“If Amazon came up with the Amazon Standard of Environmentalism with a blockchain and their own currency, they could compel every industry globally to source their materials ethically. I’m hoping I can get to the right people over time and start influencing them to make the world a better place.”
- The challenge to inquire about the sourcing and operations of companies you might invest in. Look at the entire supply chain. What is best for the planet?
- How can technology like Blockchain enable us to increase production standards? Step up your transparency game now, before blockchain adoption forces transparency ahead of your company.
I thought this was an excellent podcast because you framed what the speaker is talking about, it was in bite-sized chunks… easy for me to understand as both a consultant to corporations helping increase their sales and also involved in various fundraising activities.
I thought your concluding comments were also helpful to summarize my next steps as a takeaway.
I look forward to hearing more podcasts in the near future.
I really loved Sandeep and his approach to making a global impact. As a recent college graduate with a degree in Biology and a concentration in ecology and evolution, I feel discouraged by all the environmental problems that we have in the world, and frustrated that no one seems to know or care about them. I love Sandeep’s idea to create a resource that rates the products we buy on a variety of factors- including environmentally and socially ethical. Once the consumer changes their buying patterns, companies that do not make ethically sound products will be pushed out of the market or forced to change their business. I love it!
Great info, thanks for sharing this!