Portland State University’s Impact Ventures is the first student-led impact investing fund in the Pacific Northwest. The fund is managed by PSU MBA and Master of Science in Finance (MSF) students in collaboration with investment partners Oregon Venture Fund, Portland Seed FundKeiretsu Forum Northwest, E8 and TiE Oregon.

In keeping with The School of Business mission to create positive social, ecological and economic impact, Impact Ventures invests in regional, high potential start-ups that provide a strong financial return and make a positive environmental and/or social impact. 

Investment Criteria

  • Companies should be located in the Pacific Northwest for ease of collaboration and to allow students to affect change in local and regional communities
  • Environmental and/or social impact should be central to a company’s business model. This should be a clear objective for the company and not simply a byproduct of normal operations
  • The company should have a well-defined business plan to create a measurable impact. We want to know the issues the company is addressing and how the company executes on its mission

Interested companies should contact Impact Ventures faculty advisor Julie Hackett at hackett2@pdx.edu or 503.725.6474.

Curriculum 

Impact Ventures is a two-term experience for graduate business students in the MBA and MSF programs. 

Students have the opportunity to:

  • Gain hands-on experience investing in early-stage companies
  • Understand and apply impact frameworks
  • Connect to entrepreneurs and investors
  • Impact the community
  • Gain an additional avenue for internships and full-time employment
  • Fund scholarships from portfolio gains
  • Perform research on impact investing and entrepreneurship 

Founders

Impact Ventures was founded in 2019 by four MSF students who were exploring the role capitalism plays in addressing emerging environmental and social issues. Founders include:

  • Yelena Bean, MSF ‘19
  • Alexis Nelson, MSF ‘19
  • Lisa Pitts, MSF ‘18
  • Brent Stark, MSF ‘19

Contribute to the Impact Ventures Fund

Impact Ventures is made possible by private and corporate donors. Interested donors can make contributions to Impact Ventures on the PSU Foundation website.