Venture capitalists have always put great emphasis on above-average company growth and return on investment. However, with the increasing importance of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors in investment decisions, the attention is shifting to startups with the clear intention of achieving a measurable positive social and environmental impact in addition to financial returns.
Currently, impact investing occupies only a small share of the overall investment market, but this share is growing rapidly. Prominent areas of impact investing are CleanTech, ClimateTech and Circular Economy in the environmental area, or business ideas that help alleviate social problems in the social area. For venture capitalists looking for startups to invest in, this means paying attention not only to the facts and figures in the business plan, but also to the company's broader environmental and social impact, as well as its mission and vision.
Naoyoshi Yoneyama and Alena Schollmayer from Berlin-based venture capital firm Strategic Business Innovator Berlin GmbH will give an overview of the developments in impact investing, with particular attention to Japan and Germany.
As impact investing is a comparatively new field, the definition is still vague. The speakers will lay out what impact investing means for Strategic Business Innovator Berlin and which sub-verticals are particularly interested in. Furthermore, they will touch on questions like: What role do the UN SDGs play for startups and investors in Japan and Germany? How is impact investing changing the startup ecosystems our countries? What success stories can already be told? What are the motivations and goals of impact investors, and what challenges need to be overcome?
They will also share their experience on how an originally Japanese company is adapting to the local venture capital market in Germany and becoming an active member of the European impact investing ecosystem.
Naoyoshi Yoneyama, Managing Director, Strategic Business Innovator Berlin GmbH
Naoyoshi Yoneyama is the Founder and Managing Director of Strategic Business Innovator Berlin, a 100% subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc., and a former Japanese diplomat and economist. He has profound experience in advising technological start-ups, especially when it comes to their internationalization to Asia. Furthermore, Naoyoshi is serving as Board Advisor for SBI’s European portfolio companies such as Solarisbank and Element. Prior to setting up SBI’s European office, he was engaged in several investments in the European and UK market at SBI in Tokyo. Moreover, he established the operations in the German market for SBI with the launch of a fund focusing on Industry 4.0 related technologies in 2020.
Before pursuing his career at SBI, Mr. Yoneyama worked in Vienna where he was in charge of economic and environmental affairs as part of the OSCE Delegation appointed by Japan. In this role he especially contributed to the establishment of sustainable environmental policies. He holds an M.A. in European Studies (Politics/Economics) from RWTH Aachen University.
Alena Schollmayer, Senior Investment Analyst, Strategic Business Innovator Berlin GmbH
Alena Schollmayer’s passion for entrepreneurship and technologies brought her to the field of venture capital. Prior to her career at Strategic Business Innovator Berlin, she gained rich experience in strategy consulting and executive search. During her studies, she had the opportunity to pilot her own Impact Tech start-up idea and work hand in hand with founders of early-stage start-ups.
Besides working as a Venture Capitalist, Ms. Schollmayer actively supports female founders and investors through diverse mentoring programs. She holds a MSc in Management from ESCP Europe focusing on Deep Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
- Welcome by DJW (5’)
- Presentation by Naoyoshi Yoneyama and Alena Schollmayer (25’)
- Q&A and discussion (25’)
- Closing (5’)
DJW Members: EUR 0 / JPY 0
Non-Members: EUR 35 / JPY 5.000
Deutsch-Japanischer Wirtschaftskreis e. V. (DJW)