March 20, 2017

LABS Pitches at Gratitude Railroad Impact Investor Summit


At Cambridge Innovation Center in early March, more than 100 of New England’s leading impact investors met to network, trade ideas, trade deals and lay the groundwork for the establishment of a new investment and innovation community. Gratitude Railroad Impact investors are those who back companies, projects, and programs committed to producing financial returns as well as verifiable impact on society, often monitored through the UN Sustainable Development Goal frameworks.

LABS was one of six attendees invited to pitch a project for investment.

We were joined by partners representing a number of Tribal Investment Boards and the Global Connect Foundation, which we are helping to launch.

LABS Managing Director Chris Rezendes pitched our Groundwater Data Bank: a privately funded network of sensors that provide high pedigree, secure, accurate, reliable, actionable intelligence on the presence, level, volume and quality of water in a given area of operation. A number of LABS Sponsors, Tech Partners and FUND I portfolio companies are involved.

The Groundwater Data Bank addresses three of the grand challenges we aim to address through IoT deployment: food security, water security, and community resilience.

We walked away from this event with several potential investment partners and some concrete takeaways to become more powerful and efficient as we pursue our mission.

Takeaways and Next Action Steps:

1. Press forward with our core work.

We have compelling pilots, programs, projects, portfolio companies and business models emerging.

2. Hone our messaging.

We need to get better at telling our stories, and telling more of them, more widely. Narrative is critical to connecting with investors and partners and the reality of our narratives is worthy of more compelling positioning from LABS.

3. Stretch to define the outside edge of scale and impact.

LABS and sponsors, partners and portfolio companies need to continue to stretch for strategies that can scale. Scale potential remains a critical selection factor for impact investors.