Investing in next-generation unicorns to make the world a better place
In a world where there are many nonprofit organizations with a platform for ideas — few take the next logical step and invest capital in what they promote. This is what makes the Future Investment Initiative Institute unique. The institute — through what we call “ACT” — puts its money where its mouth is. We are a “do tank,” not just a think tank.
People are often surprised to learn that a nonprofit organization would not only invest in but also lead the commercialization of powerful and impactful technologies. To us, however, it is no mystery — our organization is made up of people who love action.
The mission of the ACT platform is to find companies that could potentially have a strong impact on humanity and provide the capital to fuel their growth. The FII Institute sees becoming a lead investor in such high-growth companies as a way to influence governments and investors to take action against the most critical global challenges.
So far, we have seven innovative companies in our diversified and robust portfolio. These investments include RedSea Farms, revolutionary saltwater greenhouse innovators; Dogtooth Technologies, a startup that sells robots for harvesting soft fruits; SeaFood Souq, a digital ecosystem for the global seafood trade; Timbeter, which aims to eradicate illegal logging and improve transparency in the timber supply chain; Interstellar Lab, environment-controlled pods for crop cultivation on earth and life support in space; and Azmed, which helps address the global shortage in radiologists with AI X-ray diagnosis.
We also form alliances with Tier 1 STEM universities globally and leverage our platform to accelerate innovation while influencing the global investment community with thought leadership. The ACT team is proud to be a leader in using financial tools to better the planet and make a lasting impact on humanity.
Moving the needle in our focus areas of sustainability, AI & robotics, health, and education—we believe we can make this world a better place with the help of those who share our vision.
For example, 18 months ago, we invested in Lilium, a company developing zero emissions, fully electric jets for regional transport. After the institute’s investment, the company took the step of listing publicly on NASDAQ and proved its technology through the demonstration of “main wing transition,” a historic first step with the potential to disrupt the dirtiest segment in the aviation industry.
Beyond investments, ACT recently unveiled a new inclusive ESG framework and scoring methodology. It aims to give unbiased ratings to companies in emerging markets. We encourage investors to incorporate inclusive ESG into their decision making and the design is modular to facilitate integration.
This is the promise and the potential of the FII Institute — transforming the world for the better by investing in the next generation of unicorns having a positive impact on humanity.
• Anthony Berkley, Ph.D., is the director of ACT, the investment arm of FII Institute.