Jonathan Hera is the Founder and Managing Partner of Marigold Capital. Marigold offers strategic consulting and fund management for private market impact investments. The firm works with families, foundations, corporations and governments to better use finance for equitable and prosperous social change.

Episode Overview:

In this episode, Jonathan talked about venture capital and why VC (venture capital) doesn’t work for everybody but it is super sexy and a super exciting type of finance at this stage. In Marigold Capital, they use different types of mechanism and different type of finance that allows them to fund many activities  that might not fit the traditional VC model.

Jonathan explained how venture capital handle the money that they get and provide to the entrepreneurs. For Jonathan Hera, the model of managing money and getting bigger returns on the back-end is really weird because it can be broken and it needs to change.

Jonathan also talked about why women are usually good founders on a company and talked about how they run a business and stepping it up to the market.

Venture Capital and Angel Investor:

Venture Capital. VC is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth (in terms of number of employees, annual revenue, or both).

Angel investor. An angel investor (also known as a business angel, informal investor, angel funder, private investor, or seed investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.

Jonathan explained that if you got a business idea and turned that idea into some minimal viable product and having some prototypes and testing it to some of your customers, and if you are looking to fund yourself beyond you and your founders or family who can't provide anymore capital, that is when venture capital and angel investor comes in.

You might also go to a couple of groups of angel investors or long standing entrepreneurs who are looking to give back to other inspiring entrepreneurs. And if you start to validate your product and your services a little bit more, venture capitalist will be the next step that you be looking for. These are going to be a little bit more institutional, a little bit more professional in terms of how they are managing you.

Best Practices to approach the VC:

  • Warm intros are the way to go
  • All that marigold does is around gender and equity
  • Going outbound instead of waiting for the outbound intros can often be a really useful tactic to venture out on VC’s
  • You just need to know your numbers
  • You don’t need to know everything
  • It is fine to say you need to follow up but you need to have humility on the strength you need to know your operational, unit economics, market size and etc.
  • You need to know what your key assumptions are
  • Do your homework and build that relationship

Just because you can’t see what’s behind the black box or the curtain doesn’t mean we’re not all talking

Gender and inclusive lens that marigold focuses on that can contribute to a business and a community and the quaint customers well being:

  • Women and technology
  • Women with inmost companies
  • Product and services
  • Upstream and downstream suppliers and distributors practices

For men entrepreneurs, they should be thinking more of a board of advisers or board of directors are two places are obviously to begin with. Jonathan had also made a lot of deals in financial inclusion and med-tech and here are the things that you should be looking at.

  • How the products are designed
  • How the services are administered
  • Who is administering those products and services

Jonathan shared about the 2017 Canadian Budget where the government is allocating a ton of money to the venture capital space to build the infrastructure for later stage financing of their startups that include a gender-balanced element. The Canadian Budget is also working on BBC to target women in technology.

We have all these elements in both domestically and internationally working private sector player.

This is not just the government’s initiative but also for public and private to leverage one another towards more equitable solutions for ultimately women and girls.

Marigold Capital on social change:

  • They still adhere that innovation can change society.
  • They completely believe in entrepreneurs who wanted to change the world
  • They completely adhere to what VC’s say to that as well
  • They are looking for positive social progress through awesome entrepreneurs affecting communities with great products and services

Build something that you would use that you know that there is something to demand for and that there are many more you’s out there

Sales and marketing tips:

  • Never give up
  • Always be fundraising but always ask for advice, never for money
  • Reach out to people with something that has value to them
  • Always provide value to someone who you are requesting invite from
  • Stay in touch
  • A tip from Venture Capital – When you need the money no one is going to give it but if you don’t need the money, you’ll have more offers
  • Be authentic
  • Start your relationship six months prior
  • Make money while doing good now

Resources Mentioned:

Book recommendation:

Hot spot:

About Marigold Capital:

Marigold makes investments using a gender and inclusive lens for systems level impact. It is one of Canada’s leading impact investors and blended finance practitioners, and it continues to re-conceive traditional finance to shift norms, remove structural barriers, and empower marginalized individuals to participate and benefit fully in society.

  • Marigold Capital is built on leading impact investment experience at Grand Challenges Canada, RBC and Sarona Asset Management, alongside the Schulich School of Business.
  • Marigold is a leader in gender lens investing and blended finance
  • Marigold has built collaborative impact platforms that bring together various (and different) stakeholders to provide more finance and resources to social enterprises
  • Marigold is about to launch Canada's deepest gender lens fund

Connect with Jonathan:


Twitter: @JonathanHera and @marigoldCap

Website: Marigold Capital

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