Social Venture Funds Makes Second Investment this Year in Jack & Jake’s

Shannon Beeman
July 9, 2012

The Social Venture Fund today announced that it has closed its second investment this year in Louisiana-based sustainable food provider Jack & Jake’s.  Led by founder and CEO John Burns, Jack & Jake’s aims to stimulate the economy and support Louisiana communities by helping local farmers and fishers extend their distribution and sales abilities and bring healthy, fresh food to areas that would not normally have access.

The Social Venture Fund began working with Jack and Jake’s over a year ago with the objective of connecting two groups who need each other- farms and fisheries and community institutions like schools, hospitals and assisted care facilities.  As part of the investment, the students, led by Sanjay Vachani (MBA ’12) and Emily Rinner (MBA ’12), “created a set of social metrics against which they can measure the impact of the investment – not just the financial return, but more importantly the degree to which the investment is improving the community and the environment,” explains Burns.

Not only will Jack & Jake’s benefit from the investment, but Zell Lurie Institute executive director Tom Kinnear points out that “the recent deal with Jack & Jake’s provided another opportunity for our students to experience the complexities of double bottom line ventures — balancing social need with a positive return on investment.”

Gautam Kaul, Professor of Finance at the Ross School of Business and managing director of the Social Venture Fund adds, “Our goal as a fund is to support entrepreneurs in the social space and find organizations and leaders who need our support.  In this case, our student team did a great job cultivating a relationship and I am confident that both Jack & Jake’s and our Social Venture Fund students will learn a tremendous amount and realize significant value from the business relationship.”

The Social Venture Fund seeks to make early-stage investments of up to $200,000 in sustainable, innovative, for-profit organizations that deliver  financial returns and place the generation of a significant social impact at the heart of their mission.  Managed by 34 students (29 MBAs and 5 BBAs) with wide-ranging experience in fields that include technology, investment and education, the Social Venture Fund completes U-M’s trifecta of student-led venture funds along with the Wolverine Venture Fund and Frankel Commercialization Fund, all of which immerse students in experiencing the many aspects of venture capital investing.

You may find more information about the latest SVF investment here.