City Spark, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, and a Consortium of Academic Institutions Launch Insights Platform for Evaluating Social Impact

For the first time ever, entrepreneurs can measure and understand the positive consequences of their business in a few simple steps

NEW YORK, Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City Spark, the seed investing arm of leading impact investing VC firm City Light Capital, today partnered with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and a consortium of academic institutions to launch the Impact Beacon, an open-sourced insights platform that enables entrepreneurs to use facts, figures and other data to identify, evaluate and articulate their company’s level of impact. The platform will initially focus on the key sectors where City Light has the most expertise — environment, education and safety and care — and will expand into additional areas over time.

The Impact Beacon provides entrepreneurs with planning tools and a vision for the impact that they can build companies around. It was designed to complement the hard work of impact platforms, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, IRIS+, BLab and the Impact Management Project, among others.

The platform asks a short series of questions that take entrepreneurs less than two minutes to answer and filters through 500+ possible outcomes based on their visions of what their companies can achieve. The metrics are then mapped to those identified by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and are linked back to third-party research so entrepreneurs can explore the ties between their businesses and run through multiple scenarios to gauge the potential impact of different models or approaches.

The end result is a shareable series of metrics and impact targets that entrepreneurs can use to demonstrate their company's potential impact at scale, and include in pitch decks, websites and marketing material. Further, the anonymized, aggregated data generated by the platform will be made available to participating research institutions to advance studies on impact investing, entrepreneurism, innovation, social and emotional leadership, and more.

“The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, and providing them with the resources and mentorship to create, launch and scale their businesses,” said Nicola Corzine, Executive Director, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. “Original research is extremely important for furthering our mission and supporting founders from all walks of life. We jumped at the chance to launch the Impact Beacon and incorporate its unique insights into our ongoing studies of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

City Light spearheaded development of the Impact Beacon, which was born out of the firm’s mission to work with product-based impact companies to make the world safer, smarter and more sustainable. All of City Light’s portfolio companies have a core product that creates better lives at scale, with a direct relationship between revenue and measurable social impact.

“We partner with our portfolio companies to help each of them crystallize their mission, define social metrics and set tangible goals. This journey helps position the companies for greater long-term financial and impact success,” said Jeff Rinehart, Partner, City Light. “With the Impact Beacon we opted to open-source the process to and make the platform available to all entrepreneurs.”

Entrepreneurs can access the Impact Beacon at, as well as attend an interactive workshop on Wednesday, January 27 to learn how to use the tool to enhance investor relationships, drive customer awareness and increase employee retention. Registration is now open here.

About City Light
City Light is a Venture Capital firm that invests early in impactful companies. The firm partners with experienced teams building category-defining solutions in the areas of education, environment and personal safety and care — where more revenue equals better lives at scale, every time. As one of the earliest and most successful impact investing firms, City Light has a track record of identifying and scaling impact in ways that build better companies. Key portfolio investments are 2U (Nasdaq: TWOU), ShotSpotter (Nasdaq: SSTI), Trilogy Education, and OhmConnect.

About the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center
The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is an independent non-profit organization committed to advancing entrepreneurial education worldwide – for every stage, every industry, and every background. Since 2014, the Center has provided pathways for high talent, underestimated entrepreneurs to gain much needed access to founder training while also bringing new industry benchmarking to light. The Center strives to deliver critically important mentorship and connections to foster business innovation and advance the ideas of people who are capable of being the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Established with the support of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation and located in San Francisco, the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is a destination for the next generation of risk-takers and idea makers who take the plunge into entrepreneurship. For more information please visit:

Allie Murphy