In Episode 29 of The Wendel Forum(originally aired on August 27, 2011 on Green 960 AM radio), show host Dick Lyons sits down to chat with Nick Flores, Director of Investment and Entrepreneur Services for Investors’ Circle.

Investors’ Circle (IC) is a network of more than 150 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations and family offices that are using private capital to promote the transition to a sustainable economy. Since 1992, Investors’ Circle has facilitated the flow of $146 million into 225 companies and small funds addressing social and environmental issues.

Of note, Investors’ Circle and SJF Institute announced a merger effective July 1, 2011.

In his conversation with Dick, Nick discusses the investment network and some of the many opportunities they have for sustainable businesses to obtain exposure to investors.

Companies in the portfolio are generally not start-ups, but are operational having started with friends and family investors. The investors who participate in IC want to know that the business founder has some skin in the game. Once the company is ready to raise its Series A round of stock, it’s time to submit to IC.

Of the types of companies that IC serves, there are six primary sectors. They are identified as:

  • Cleantech, Energy & Environmental solutions
  • Sustainable Consumer Products
  • Education (focused on K-12)
  • Health, Biotech & Wellness
  • Community and Economic Development
  • Social Media and Software

IC has a number of opportunities throughout the year for companies to showcase their business to the investor community. Currently, they are promoting both an Online Venture Fair (September 14) as well as their Fall 2011 Venture Fair in Philadelphia.

Show Note:

Tune in to Green 960 AM radio on Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. for an interview with Rory Bakke, President of Sustainable Concepts Studio and Director of Sustainability at GreenBiz. She’s been working with Underwriters Lab to develop the environmental health and sustainability standards for companies. While there are many forms of product certification, this comprehensive set of standards is meant for the enterprise or organizational level.  Should be an interesting discussion.

Post Links:

Listen to the interview with Nick Flores: Episode 29 of The Wendel Forum (mp3)

Investors’ Circle website:

Press release re Investors’ Circle and SJF Institute merger:

SJF Institute website:

Dick Lyons website bio:

Green 960 AM radio website:


Having a great idea is not enough to bring your product to market. You also need to fund it.  In Episode 5 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on Saturday, March 5, on Green 960 AM radio) Dick Lyons discusses investment in a green business (a hypothetical company called GreenCo) from the investor’s perspective. In future episodes we’ll address investment issues from the company’s perspective. To raise capital, a green company can offer convertible preferred stock. What’s in it for the investor?  What about offering dividends? 

Tune in to Green 960 AM radio at 11:26 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, to hear a continuation of the investment conversation.  This time focusing on Series A stock and redemption rights.

In other news, Dick is currently attending the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim.  Say “hi” if you see him. Reports from the floor indicate there is a lot of activity and some great new products being showcased. Hot trends this year include gluten free products, natural sweeteners, and clean labeling (check out this Food Navigator interview with Chris Kelly, Director of Technical Service for Advanced Food Systems at the Research Chefs Association conference in March 2010).  We’re following the chatter on the Twitter feed #expowest and posting from @WendelRosen. 

Posting Links:

Link to the audio download of Episode 5:  wendel_forum_5

Link to Green 960 AM radio green morning line up:

Link to Natural Products Expo West website:

Link to Food Navigor interview: