Prior to becoming a Skoll Scholar, Sean Holt spent seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where in 2004 he co-founded the predecessor of Purpose Capital, which is now based in his ‘new’ home town of Toronto, Ontario. Purpose Capital is an innovation and investment advisory firm dedicated to accelerating the North American impact economy.
In 2014 Sean left Purpose Capital to co-found a new firm, Grand Basin Capital, whose mission is to enhance and accelerate investment into resilient ecosystems and communities across Canada and within Aboriginal communities to catalyze sustainable economic development and sovereign wealth creation. Among other achievements, Grand Basin oversees the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada to realize environmentally sustainable and economically viable First Nation commercial fishery enterprises (CFEs). Through PICFI, Grand Basin provides technical assistance and funding to 25 Aboriginal CFEs supporting nearly 100 coastal First Nations in British Columbia.
In 2014 Sean also founded the Impact Angel Alliance with partners Investors’ Circle, Grand Challenges Canada and the Province of Ontario. IAA is a non-profit alliance of ‘financial first’ investors who are collaborating to co-invest into high potential, high impact ventures across North America in agri-tech, med-tech, edu-tech, fin-tech for impact and scalable craft/heritage industry. IAA has quickly grown to become one of the world’s largest impact investing networks, with +100 institutional members and +2,000 unique accredited investors. In its first year of operation, IAA members funded or facilitated nearly $75 million in direct and contingent follow-on investment into more than two dozen impact ventures.
In addition to his responsibilities and leadership at Grand Basin Capital and Impact Angel Alliance, in 2016 Sean was invited to join two other groundbreaking firms – Ask the Circle and Kirchner Group – to elevate their participation in Skoll’s global community of impact venturing and investment. Founded in 2009, Ask the Circle counts +350 family office members of significant wealth who are collaborating to co-invest across a wide range of global interests, including impact investments in virtually every asset class. Kirchner Group was founded in 1985 on two fundamental premises: that all businesses should contribute to a positive human future and that every business, and portfolio of businesses, can be made more valuable. As such, Kirchner Group has been ‘organically’ advising and investing for impact for over 30 years, and offers an exceptional track record of crystallizing blend value for companies and investors alike.
Sean has continued to push the boundaries of impact as aligned with superior business and investment performance with the view that impact active strategies should not only meet but generally succeed impact agnostic approaches to business and investment.