Female Founders in Climate Series
An interview with Jackie Logan, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Raise Green
Next on our list of female founders, we interviewed Jackie Logan from Raise Green. Jackie has extensive experience working with businesses, banks, and investors ranging in size from small to large. Read on for her insights.
By GreenPortfolio Team
March 26, 2023
As co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Raise Green, Jackie Logan has made it easier than ever to support innovative clean energy projects.
Raise Green is a climate investment platform on a mission to democratize sustainable investing and expand access to capital for climate solutions companies and projects across the US. In the past, only those with deep pockets could back large energy infrastructure projects, but with Raise Green, individual investors can start directly supporting climate solutions with as little as $100.
Jackie has 20+ years of experience working with banks, businesses, and investors, and has a strong belief in capital markets supporting sustainable goals. We were excited to hear her story about bringing Raise Green to life.
Can you tell us the story of how your company started? Where did the idea come from? And what specifically inspired you to get into fintech?
Raise Green originally started with the idea to provide information to the market about emissions and pollution and other impacts in the local community – but realized the bigger issue to tackle is giving folks the ability to do something about it. So we turned to a clear goal — to give just about anyone a direct way to take climate action, and to begin today.
The first step was to obtain our registration as a funding portal which would enable us to bring together on a fully online platform folks looking to raise capital in the climate solution space with climate impact investors. We focused first on solar – there should be a solar array on every commercial-sized rooftop across the U.S., and the local community can invest in it via our funding portal. We created project journey software to address friction and soft costs of a solar project, collaborating with IBM.
Over time, with so many folks started coming to us with a variety of great and important climate solutions, we determined to go broader with our funding portal – to support folks doing everything from project-based financing, like a solar array or energy efficiency, to new technologies raising for working capital and expansion. Our first offering launched in July of 2020, and we have done 24 securities offering to date – and a pipeline of $75mil+ in the works.
For me, Raise Green was a perfect fit. As a true believer in the power of the capital markets, I believed and still believe we must give private capital an avenue to move directly into climate solutions. There was no time to waste. If one thing was clear, we needed to give just about everyone a chance to participate. And that is exactly what Raise Green uniquely does – my 20+ years of experience in the capital markets was a perfect fit with the skills and experience of my CoFounders to help accelerate the growth trajectory of the Company.
What do you want potential customers to know about your company?
Raise Green is an SEC-registered FINRA member funding portal, fully registered to work with U.S. companies in the climate solutions space that want to raise capital up to $5mil per year, either equity and/or debt – and for those looking to invest as little as $100 in a climate solution today, our platform offers a variety of individual companies to review.
We are easy to find and it is super easy to open an account. We issue securities under a specific regulation, Regulation CF, only effective since 2016. (So folks are clear, this is not donation-based or rewards-based crowdfunding – these are financial investments.) Reg CF is specifically designed to enable capital formation for small- to medium-sized businesses and to allow for local investment – it is super flexible for issuers and just about anyone 18+ can invest.
We have a saying at Raise Green – if you get to the end of the climate march and don’t know what to do next, jump on Raise Green!
How is your company leading the fight against climate change?
We are working with just amazing folks around the country at the forefront of new technologies or innovative ways to expand climate solutions. We are working creatively with these companies as they structure securities to meet their unique needs and take advantage of new legislation and present these to the market for investment. We also are giving others a chance to participate through investing. 9 out of 10 Americans could not participate in the private markets before Reg CF as they were not accredited investors. With Reg CF, they can – and on Raise Green it can be in climate.
Raise Green offers such a unique opportunity for individual investors to get started with impact investing or for seasoned investors to access a range of projects with real, positive climate impact. We loved hearing about how it got started.
We also wanted to know more about Jackie’s journey as an entrepreneur.
What has been your proudest moment in founding your company so far?
Seeing some of the issuers on our platform get their funding to jump-start their business. And then to see the amazing progress they have made with their initial funds. To date, over 50% of the capital raised on our platform has been from women- and/or BIPOC-managed companies, which is about 10x traditional venture financing.
Secondly, I would say looking at the amazing team we have built at Raise Green – they inspire me to get back in there and work even harder!
What was something unexpected that happened throughout this journey?
Change can be hard – and I recall my first 6 months trying to wrap my head around solar project financial modeling! But the outcome, as it is so many times, was to absolutely become passionate about renewable energy. In particular solar. I also realized there are so many folks out there, working on solutions, of every kind, and gaining such faith that we can do this!
Would you have done anything differently looking back at your entrepreneurial journey?
Frankly, except for one startup experience back around 2000 – I have worked mostly in large corporations. And I came to Raise Green not with entrepreneurship as my goal – but to give private capital a new avenue to climate solutions at a very grassroots level. I now realize – I should have jumped to being an entrepreneur sooner!
Of course, there are many challenges we face each day and a lot of very long days. But we have the potential to build together as a team, based on our ideas, collaborating across the climate space – something that will have a specific impact on many – and accelerate the transition to a net zero future.
What is something you wish other people knew about being a female entrepreneur?
There are a lot of amazing women that are female entrepreneurs, and they are generally very excited to connect and support you. And if you are having difficulty raising capital – think creatively about raising capital. And definitely consider Reg CF.
Are there any organizations or groups you’d like to recognize that really supported you along the way?
I have to say – our Issuer the Connecticut Green Bank – has really championed the democratizing of investing in climate – through their $100 Green Liberty Notes program that we host on our platform quarterly. Their belief in allowing everyone to participate in the CT green economy and willingness to try something new to accomplish this has been inspirational for us at Raise Green. We really appreciate their mission and collaboration.
Do you have any advice for girls and women who are passionate about climate change and want to make a difference?
Start somewhere. There are so many great organizations out there — for profit, non profit, NGO — involved in the space. Everyone gets it — we need as many folks involved as possible and welcome new entrants. Join webinars, events, and don’t miss Climate Week NYC in September! And if you don’t have time – there are meaningful investments you can start with to take climate action today - start small, but do start today.
Climate Lightning Round
And now for the Climate Lighting Round, where we rapid-fire climate-related questions at you!
Our first question is: what is your favorite climate tech or topic?
Wind, solar, hydrothermal - which are you most excited about?
Solar and battery
What is your favorite book or written resource about climate that you wish everyone knew about?
Notable women you admire, whether present day or in history, who have played a role in climate/environmental action?
Rachel Carson - a real pioneer
That’s all the questions we’ve got for today. Thanks, Jackie!
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