Learning Impact Investment from Charly Kleissner, a true Social Investor

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Last week some of us had the pleasure to get to know Charly Kleissner.

Charly was born in Austria, graduated from the Technical University in Vienna and afterwards moved to Silicon Valley where he worked with Steve Jobs on the current operating system for Apple Products. He accumulated quite some wealth through this successful career, but he never thought of spending all it on himself and was rather looking for more effective ways of investing.

He was one of the pioneers of social investment (also referred to as ‘impact investment’). Together with his wife Lisa he co-founded KL Felicitas Foundation (www.klfelicitasfoundation.org), which focuses on (a) enabling social entrepreneurs and social enterprises worldwide, and (b) on advocating impact investing. He also co-founded Social-Impact International (www.social-impact.org), which helps social entrepreneurs worldwide to accelerate and increase their social impact, as well as Toniic (www.toniic.org), a global network of action-oriented impact investors.

He serves on the Advisory Board of multiple not-for-profit companies like Acumen Fund, Global Social Benefit Incubator, and Global Philanthropy Forum. Furthermore, Charly Kleissner is supporting multiple social venture and micro financing funds committed to double and triple bottom line returns by serving on the Board of Giving Assets Inc., on the Advisory Council of MicroVest and Acumen Capital Market I, and the board of Dasra and Springcreek Advisors. Additionally, he is teaching workshops and seminars about social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial leadership, social enterprises, and hybrid business models and financing structures.

Matthias Reisinger IMPACT IS… Doing what makes you come alive in a way it contributes to more than just yourself. WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE BECOMING PART OF THE IMPACT HUB VIENNA TEAM I was finishing my studies and building up emersense, the NGO which gave birth to the Hub WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? Prototyping the new way of doing business WHAT DO YOU WANT TO HAVE ACHIEVED AS PART OF THE IHV TEAM BY THE END OF THE YEAR? Hosting the impact eco-system in Austria and bringing it to the next level WHAT DOES YOUR PERFECT SUNDAY LOOK LIKE? Excercize + Chillaxation + Good Food & Good Movie in Good Company WHAT IS AN ABSOLUTELY RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU THAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW? When I was learning the piano as a child, I refused to learn the music pieces I was supposed to, but only wanted to play my own compositions PLACE OF BIRTH? Linz, Austria LANGUAGES YOU SPEAK? German, English, French