Economy

Andrew Karsh and Bay Bridge Ventures take on VC and sustainability

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

By Marsha J. Vande Berg

(Marsha Vande Berg is director of MJGlobal Insights, a resource that helps decision-makers tell their dynamic sustainability story to investors and stakeholders in the face of fast-paced change and severe risk from externalities. The former CEO of the Pacific Pension and Investment Institute, she worked directly for nearly a decade with global pension executives in North America, Asia and Europe. A Stanford University Distinguished Careers Fellow and author of MJGI Briefs, you can reach her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.)

SAN FRANCISCO (Callaway Climate Insights) — It takes guts to leave a secure job investing on behalf of the largest public pension fund in the U.S. and hang out a shingle with the name of your brand-new venture fund some 50 miles from Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of private capital. Guts, yes, but also smarts, deep experience and what might be called investment empathy.

Andrew Karsh, founder of Bay Bridge Ventures in Berkeley, Calif., together with partners Kim Kolt and Joe Blair, understand in rare combination the increasing interests of today’s institutional investors in linking fiduciary responsibility to return on investment and impact.

What’s more, he and his partners intend to apply their considerable knowledge to overturn a prominent perception that sustainable investments are immaterial to the winning venture calculus. . . .

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