Published March 2, 2023

2 minute read

Founding a Mission-Driven VC: Insights from C3 Founder Medea Nocentini

In this session, Medea Nocentini, Founder of C3, and Noor Sweid, General Partner of Global Ventures, discuss the role of ESG and governance in the venture. They share their experiences building an impact-focused venture capital firm and the importance of merging operations and thinking for the benefit of early-stage founders.

Session Speakers: 
Medea Nocentini

Medea Nocentini

Founder, C3

Noor Sweid

Noor Sweid

General Partner, Global Ventures

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Key Takeaways

  • Medea Nocentini's journey with C3 highlights the significance of impact and governance in the venture space. The focus on these two aspects can help create long-term sustainable businesses.
  • It's crucial to support mission-driven founders who are passionate about their work. They have a higher chance of overcoming challenges and sustaining their business in the long run.
  • C3's early-stage support for governance, business models, and pitching to investors complements Global Ventures' funding and handling of companies until series B and C. The merger of the two firms will create more synergies, benefiting early-stage founders.
  • Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are gaining more attention in the venture space. 
  • The lines between traditional and impact funds are blurring as investors focus more on the impact of their investments. Bringing different funding streams and approaches together can create more opportunities and enhance the overall impact of the investment.

​​​​Investors increasingly consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when investing in venture capital (VC). This was the focus of a recent marketplace session at Investopia 2023, entitled "VC Talks: C3 | The Role of ESG in Venture."

Medea Nocentini, founder of C3, a UAE-based accelerator focused on impact and governance, discussed her journey from a management consultant to an impact investor. She explained how C3 started as a side gig more than ten years ago, focusing on providing healthcare and education to employees when their company declined to offer these benefits. Since then, C3 has evolved into an accelerator focusing on impact and governance, offering workshops to founders on these topics.

Nocentini emphasized the importance of governance and impact when making investments and how these factors are crucial for long-term success. She highlighted how the lines between mission-driven and traditional investors are blurring and how societal challenges are becoming great opportunities to create businesses.

Nocentini also discussed C3's recent merger with Global Ventures, a UAE-based VC firm that invests in early-stage startups. She noted how the merger was a natural fit, as C3 focuses on early-stage startups, while Global Ventures provides funding and handles startups until series B and C.

Moderator Noor Sweid, General Partner at Global Ventures, asked about the role of ESG and governance in the venture space. Nocentini noted how C3 alumni have a 97% operational rate after a long time, highlighting how mission-driven founders are more resilient and have more incentive to overcome challenges.

Sweid and Nocentini discussed how merging C3 and Global Ventures would help promote ESG and governance within the venture space. They highlighted the importance of creating a wall-free operation that promotes collaboration and how this would benefit investors, founders, and communities.

The discussion underscored the growing importance of ESG and governance in the venture capital space. As investors seek to make long-term investments that positively impact society, more focus is being placed on factors beyond just financial returns. The merger between C3 and Global Ventures exemplifies how two firms can create a more impactful and successful venture ecosystem.

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