The Impact Investing Podcast

Interviewing the leaders in Impact Investing and Social and Environmental Entrepreneurship to help build and strengthen communities by sharing the best practices and inspiring stories of these amazing problem solvers.
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Now displaying: March, 2016
Mar 23, 2016

Sponsored by Maine Startup and Create Week

This Podcast is sponsored by Maine Startup and Create Week. This years conference is June 20th to 26th in Portand, ME and is going to be amazing! This year’s conference is focused on design and innovation. They’re bringing in some of the best minds to discuss and teach how entrepreneurs can use the skills that accompany great design and design thinking to help build better companies, products and solutions to the world's most pressing problems? Panels will cover topics ranging from a mixture of Biotech, Agricultural tech and innovation and environmental technology to health-care, disruption of the insurance industry, industrial 3D design and lessons from failed startups.

Keynote speakers so far for this year include Mike Perlis (president and CEO of Forbes Media), Heather Stephenson (Head of Brand Strategy at Super) and Peter Roper (Head of Mobile Brand Strategy at Google).

Last years conference drew over 4000 attendees and had 215 volunteers contributing over 10,000 hours.  Check out for more information. If you want to volunteer, attend or think you know a good speaker for the topics at this years conference, let them know.

Enter Bryan and Wunder Capital

Helping folks understand what Wunder Capital is up to and how it can help is what Bryan Birsic thinks about more than anything.

Bryan is the CEO of Wunder Capital and brings extensive finance and capital raising expertise to Wunder. From private equity investing at Bain & Company to financing online commercial lending companies at Village Ventures. Notably, Bryan's firm led early investments into commercial lending market leader OnDeck Capital. Along with his finance background, Bryan has built and led several companies that bring software approaches to new markets, most notably and recently SimpleReach, where Bryan was President and which has raised more than $15mm.

Wunder Capital develops and manages solar investment funds by leveraging its national partnership network, tested processes, proprietary underwriting framework, and best-in-class online investment portal. Wunder actively manages everything, from the sourcing of commercial solar opportunities, to the underwriting, contracting, and construction of each project. Once a system is live, Wunder manages the ongoing operation and maintenance of the array, bills the energy customer, and distributes proceeds to investors.

Wunder is a financial technology company that is based out of Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 2013, Wunder won the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2014 Sunshot Challenge, as well as COSEIA’s 2015 Summit Award. Wunder also participated in the Techstars technology accelerator program. Although Wunder’s solar funds are capitalized by accredited individuals, trusts, family offices, foundations, hedge funds and pension funds, the parent company and the operator of each of Wunder's solar funds - The Wunder Company - is backed by venture capital

Twitter @WonderCapital / @birsic

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Mar 9, 2016

If you’re involved in building companies or investing in New England - you’ve heard of Charlie Spies. If you’re involved in developing rural communities, you’ve definitely heard of CEI and CEI Capital Management (CCML).

Charlie is CEO of CEI Capital Management LLC, one of the nation’s leading allocatees of federal New Markets Tax Credits and a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEI, Inc. In this position, Charlie oversees the company’s capital sourcing and deployment, project sourcing and investment recommendations, and program compliance. CEI Capital Management has placed nearly $850 million in New Markets capacity in more than 80 projects nationally that help create and preserve jobs and improve quality of life with a focus on rural, low-income communities. This experience has earned Charlie a seat on the board of directors for the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, a national association of practitioners.

Prior to joining CCML in 2006, Mr. Spies served as COO for the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System. Through creative and strategic management, he successfully led the organization through a 73% cut in federal funding by diversifying revenue sources, and growing an individual membership program, as well as securing direct funding from the State of Maine, including with a $500,000 emergency appropriation. He has also served as CEO for the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and President and CEO of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. As one example of his capital raising experience, Mr. Spies established and secured funding at FAME for a $150 MM secondary market for student loans. While managing the Small Enterprise Growth Fund at FAME he also raised and invested over $9M in funds for seed-stage venture capital investments from both public and private sources.

Mr. Spies currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.  He received his B.S. in Forest Utilization and his M.S. in Forest Entomology from the University of Maine, as well as his M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University.


CEI’s philosophy and mission are rooted in the civil rights movement. Since its inception in 1977, CEI has grown and adapted to changing markets and new possibilities, always focused on helping people, especially those with low incomes, reach their full potential. Targeted sectors have included:

  • value-added fisheries, farms and forest projects
  • microenterprise development
  • targeted job creation
  • the creation of supported, rental and privately-owned housing
  • assistance to women business owners
  • child care facility development and
  • support for refugees and new immigrants

…all to achieve social and economic justice within sustainable communities.

CEI lends and invests money and provides business counseling services to companies in Maine and New England. Company sizes vary from one employee to 500, in stages from start-up to mature. CEI also has a robust policy arm, through which it works legislatively and with its partners to meet its goals.

Through its business support and policy activities, CEI employs a holistic approach to address the complex, interwoven issues inherent in poverty alleviation, rural development and environmental sustainability. As a practitioner of sustainable development, CEI demonstrates methods that help businesses, individuals and communities achieve tangible changes that result in enhanced personal or community assets.

CEI impact to date:

  • 2,555 businesses financed
  • $1.19 Billion financed
  • 49,786 people counseled
  • 33,103 jobs created see all of CEI’s incredible impact go to



CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CEI that deploys capital under the U.S. Treasury Department’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program and the Maine New Markets Capital Investment (NMCI) program. CCML has placed $869.6 million of NMTC/NMCI capacity in 88 projects, triggering total private capital investment of over $2.3 billion in low-income communities. 

The federal New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was designed to stimulate investment and economic growth in low-income communities that are typically overlooked by conventional investors. The program attracts investors to low-income areas by offering a 39 percent federal income tax credit over a seven-year investment period. The tax credits are allocated by Community Development Entities (CDEs), like CCML that apply for the authority to select projects and allocate the credits. The U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund has granted CEI and CCML a combined allocation of $858 million in NMTC tax credit investment capacity to deploy over the past ten years. CCML works with investors (banks and equity providers) and borrowers (project sponsors) to meet their needs while satisfying the NMTC program requirements and CCML’s own “3-E” investment strategy.

CCML impact to date:

CCML has placed $869.6 million of NMTC/NMCI capacity in 88 projects, triggering total private capital investment of over $2.3 billion in low-income communities.

  • Created/Preserved: 4,553 permanent full-time jobs
  • Created: 3,130 construction jobs
  • Developed: 1,593,860 sq. ft. of property
  • Protected: 855,596 acres of land placed under protective easements
  • Generated: 77 MW of renewable electricity capacity and 1,195,000 GLs/year of alternative fuels
  • Capitalized: $8,230,000 of targeted loan funds, $1,000,000 of employee training, and $1,730,000 educational programs
  • Developed: 524 units of Affordable Housing

To see more of CCML’s impact go to:


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