Bob Pattillo is an entrepreneur. He likes to start stuff. Some folks find him permanently outside the box. He is obsessed with new venture development: he sold a 54-year-old business in 2003 to focus solely on impact investment and enterprise development. He has dedicated 94% of his net worth to developing models for impact investment.
Here are some of the things he helped start: Bob’s first microfinance work was on the board of the Deutsche Bank Microcredit Development Fund with Asad Mahmood as the fund manager and a mentor to Bob. Accion board service soon followed and then work in the Mideast and North Africa where he helped create a MFI network, Sanabel; its original 17 MFIs serving 170,000 clients grew over 9 years to 61 MFIs serving 3 million clients, mostly women, in Yemen, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq,strengthening families, communities, and moderate leaders.
An early convert to for-profit social enterprises, he helped start the first CDO in micro-financing, the first secondary market fund (Antares), some of the first MFI ESOPs, and the first regional MFI accelerator in India (Bellwether). Bob also help start Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund, ASA Intl, STLF, MicroVest, and Accion Investments.
The success of microfinance has led to investment in other enterprises serving low-income customers in developing countries, including Cell Bazaar, a mobile-phone “Craig’s List” service for farmers in Bangladesh; D.Light, the inventor and distributor of solar-powered LED lamps in rural India; and PharmaSecure.
Bob is the founder Gray Ghost Ventures, First Light Ventures, Village Capital,and IDEX Global Fellowship (IDEX). He is an investor in Unitus Capital, the first investment bank dedicated to the impact market. In education Gray Matters Capital’s mission is “An education for 100 million women by 2036 that leads to a purpose-filled life”. In real estate, he pioneered the “STCDE” shell, a spec building concept that took Robert Pattillo Properties to 8th on the list of the largest industrial developers in the United States.
Pattillo is the son of a sharecropper, an eighth generation Georgian, and a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard Owner/President Management Program. He has spoken widely, promoting impact investment to a range of audiences including Goldman Sachs partners in London, microfinance leaders in Morocco, students in Boston, Monterrey, and Atlanta,and a handful of billionaires. He has been featured in Forbes Top 30 and Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. He has been interviewed by SOCAP and Emory University.
Dr. Steven Funk is a Masters and Doctorate degree holder: a Purdue undergraduate and University of Iowa post-graduate. He is a private pilot who plans to touch space on an upcoming Virgin Galactic flight, as well as finished two East African Safari Rallies promoting and supporting microcredit under the Race4Change organization he founded. He is an off-road motorcycle enthusiast, marathoner, a state champion athlete, and a college athletic and scholastic scholarship winner. Dr. Funk has a plethora of national and international business experiences, and is an entrepreneur, dedicated futurist, philanthropist, and all-round nomadic adventurer.
Pursuing a career in oral surgery in a residency at Vancouver General Hospital, a chance social meeting persuaded Steven to take a one-year sabbatical residency in one of Canada’s foremost teaching hospitals. He was traded for a 5-year apprenticeship with a pair of the country’s most successful property investors and prolific entrepreneurs – Nelson Skalbania and Peter Thomas.
After 5 years developing a field-based Master’s in business, Steven set out on the course of his career, building operating interests in three countries to market leadership positions. In the 1980s, as a young businessman, he built the foundation of an office commercial real estate business that by the later 1990s and early 2000s had become one of the largest independent pure office commercial real estate concerns in Western Canada. He also founded the largest set of dedicated Canadian Investor Program funds in the country, managing 8 funds in 4 Provinces totally some $250 million investing in early-stage venture. In the 1990s, he added the acquisition and development of what became the dominant car parking management operation in Canada, Imperial Parking, and one of the largest in North America, which was sold to Onex Corporation in 1995 while retaining the then start-up Asian operation that by 2015 became one of the largest operators in Southeast Asia, based in Hong Kong. Today, he oversees a 100,000-acre rainforest eco-estate in Central America, and the development of North America’s most majestic residential-sporting aviation community near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and focuses on his philanthropic endeavors and private and public investments.
Dr. Funk is a founding director of Unitus, a leading microfinance/microenterprise organization, and a founding financier of Unitus Capital, now the largest boutique investment banking group in the microenterprise space having recently surpassed $1 billion in funding initiatives. Dr. Funk has served as the Chair of the Microcredit Summit Advisory Board, and directly supported Jami Bora and Women’s World Banking in East Africa. Dr. Funk serves on the Innovations Board of the XPrize Foundation, the Advisory Board of Bold Capital, is a benefactor of Canucks Kids and B.C. Children’s Hospital, and is the appointed Special Envoy to British Columbia for Film and Digital Media. Dr. Funk is a Patron of TED, now basing its annual international event in his hometown of Vancouver, B.C. Dr. Funk also sponsors two annual college scholarships to members of his high school alma mater in Iowa, and randomly supports numerous other caring organizations.
Geoff has been involved in impact investing and microfinance since he joined Unitus Labs as a board member in 2001. Geoff is currently CEO of Unitus Impact, which he co-founded in early 2011 to support livelihood acceleration in Asia and Africa, prove the viability of investments in livelihood ventures, and attract capital markets and other investors to the space. Among many positions, Geoff holds Board seats at Micro Benefits China and other social enterprises benefiting those at the base of the economic pyramid.
Geoff has been active in private equity investing for over 25 years, founding two successful venture funds in the United States and Europe. He pioneered the concept of venture debt and has invested in over 400 companies in his career, including Ciena, Coinstar, Hotmail and Human Genome Science. He is a Founding Partner of Dominion Ventures, Inc. and European Venture Partners (now called Kreos Capital). In 1998, he assumed an advisory role at Dominion in order to pursue non-profit and other business interests.
Geoff holds a B.S. in business management from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Utah.
A world-renowned entrepreneur, business leader and societal innovator, James Lee Sorenson serves as chairman of the Sorenson Impact Foundation, which funds sustainable, scalable endeavors that maximize positive impact on the lives and societies they touch. Sorenson endowed the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah. Sorenson is Chair or the Board of Village Capital and a member of the National Advisory Board of Impact Investing.
James was instrumental in developing several new industry categories, including digital compression software that helped usher in the online multimedia revolution at Sorenson Media, and Video Relay Services that transformed the capabilities and opportunities for millions of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through Sorenson Communications.
Narayan is an investor and entrepreneur with a focus on financial services and social businesses. As the former Country Head of Morgan Stanley in India, he led all of the group’s businesses. Prior to these roles, Narayan was the Head and lead portfolio manager of Morgan Stanley’s Global Emerging Markets and Global Asset Allocation teams, managing over $25 billion in assets from New York and Singapore. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996 and has 20 years of investment experience. Prior to joining the firm, he was a managing director at Rogers Casey (now CRA Rogers Casey). In addition, Narayan was director of research at Rogers Casey and President of its investment advisory subsidiary. He began his career at Goldman Sachs.
Narayan received a B.Tech. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.