Interviewing Good Capital's Investment Manager

SOCAP Global December 3, 2009

Dedicated to increasing the flow of capital to innovative social ventures, Good Capital invests primarily in ventures focused on poverty alleviation, healthcare access, and education. Based in San Francisco and founded by SoCap Convener Kevin Jones, Good Capital’s portfolio includes Better World Books and Adina Beverages. Wes Selke, Investment Manager at Good Capital, was kind enough to spend a few minutes with me on Skype. Check out our conversation below!


Video Interview Table of Contents:

  1. Could you tell us what Good Capital is in 60 seconds? (0:01-1:10)
  2. What questions do you ask entrepreneurs before investing in them? (1:11-2:39)
  3. What’s the best investment you’ve made to date? (2:40-4:34)
  4. Do you have any advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs/investors? (4:35-7:38)
  5. What does the future of impact investment look like? (7:39-10:07)

Good Capital’s Ideal Portfolio Candidate. Some of the key characteristics Good Capital looks for in potential portfolio ventures are a strong, proven management team, a clear competitive advantage, the potential to effect systemic change on a national or international level, 2 years of operating history, measurable impact, and $0.5 million in annualized revenue.

Good Capital’s Projects. In addition to investing in high-impact social enterprises, Good Capital’s work includes three other projects: the Social Capital Markets Conference (SoCap), the Hub Bay Area, and the Social Capital Index. Check these out on their site here.

A little bit about Wes Selke. Before joining up with Good Capital, Wes worked with Ernst & Young Corporate Finance and with William Baer doing equity research. He felt restless, however, as he didn’t believe his job was making a difference in the world. On a volunteer trip to work with an orphanage in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, he truly realized the reality of poverty and decided he could no longer sit at a cubicle and work on spreadsheets while billions of people go hungry each day and can’t afford to send their children to school. So he got a degree from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, renowned for its merging of business training with social objectives. While volunteering with a microfinance organization in Guatemala, he found out about Good Capital and came on board as an intern in 2007. Upon graduating, he secured a full-time position as the Fund’s Investment Manager.

We want to convey our very sincere thanks to Wes Selke for his time! For more information, check out Good Capital’s website at www.goodcap.net.

written by: Teju Ravilochan (Unreasonable Institute)

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