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Why This VC Fund is Investing in Design

This story appears in the June 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every other year, the Danish nonprofit Index gives away about $550,000 in prize money. The winners: people who have designed solutions to life-altering problems like health and hunger. But the organizers got to thinking: Could they accomplish more? “What could we do with this volume of design solutions -- and the budding design entrepreneurs looking to build?” says Liza Chong, the nonprofit’s director of strategy and development. “Could we work with them and scale them and help them grow?” 

danishventures.com

Their answer: Yes, they could. Now they’re doing it with Danish Ventures, a fund that aims to raise $45 million in coming months, and that will invest $750,000 to $2.25 million into worthy projects. It will start by considering Index nominees, but with an eye toward the operation behind the design. “We want scalable companies that can target some of the world’s biggest problems,” Chong explains. Plus, this is a moneymaking enterprise, not charity work: “We want to show that profit can be made from purposeful companies.”

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