Here at Irish Impact, we are always looking for new ways to lead the social entrepreneurship conversation. Though the Irish Impact Conference will continue to be the launching pad for those discussions every year, this spring we decided to take it one step further. We know our friends and fellow innovators are doing great work all around the country, so we’re coming to you with Irish Impact on the Road! These one-day events will highlight what social innovation looks like in major U.S. cities and how our Irish Impact friends and ND young alumni are getting involved. What better place to start than Notre Dame’s second home, Chicago?
This Saturday, April 11th, we will meet at Coalition: Impact from 1:30-4:30pm CST for an afternoon of Chicago-focused social impact discussion, followed by an informal happy hour at Citizen Bar (a 3-minute walk away). Check out our awesome line-up of sessions and be sure to RSVP to the event on Facebook. All Chicago innovators are invited, as well as anyone interested in learning more. Detailed bios for our speakers will be coming out later this week, so keep an eye on social media and our blog!
AFTERNOON SESSIONS (45 min each)
1:45 Social Enterprise Incubation in Chicago
Notre Dame alum Mary McKenna and Chicago social enterprise specialist Mike Hyzy discuss the pluses and minuses of incubation in Chicago, one with Impact Engine and the other under Catholic Charities. Mary joined Piece & Co. right as they were coming out of Impact Engine’s accelerator program. Mike, a Top 50 Under 40 Social Entrepreneur, created Crisp! Mobile Grocery after working as a project director for Catholic Charities of Chicago. Both will share their insights on the process as well as suggest how we can best support social enterprise in the city.
Haven’t heard of Impact Engine? Watch this video from their Demo Day 2015 and prepare to be wowed.
2:45 How to Keep the Social Fire Alive
Are you a young alumni (or soon-to-be) with dreams of starting a social enterprise? Working full-time but still interested in getting involved? Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from three different people who have been in your shoes right here in Chicago. With a CPA turned microfinance loan officer, an innovation specialist distributing stuffed animals to children in disaster zones, and an Accenture senior analyst who manages a social impact blog part-time, you’ll find you’re not alone in balancing various ambitions and interests. There will be plenty of time for questions so don’t be shy!
3:45 Impact Investing Kick-off
Patrick Fisher from Creation Investments and Andy McKenna from Irish Angels will highlight how private equity is engaging with social enterprise, the pros and cons of funding social ventures through angel funds, as well as opportunities for individuals who aren’t institutional investors. With impact investing as the theme for this fall’s Irish Impact Conference, we couldn’t think of two better people to start the conversation.
Join the Irish Impact on the Road Facebook group to stay updated on this event as well as future city stops!