Meet the latest ICA Growth Fund seed capital recipients: Future N Focus, Rockridge, and Scenic Made.
These companies were selected after participating in extensive coaching and advising through ICA's accelerator programs, preparing them to leverage this seed level funding for growth. Each of these investments were made using the ICA Impact Note, our innovative investment structure that helps entrepreneurs prioritize social impacts, like good jobs, workforce diversity, and employee wealth creation, as they grow their businesses. Keep reading to learn about the latest companies to join the ICA portfolio.
Future N Focus
Future N Focus is the creator of Dream Catcher, a B2B award-winning educational software, that helps students 12+ discover their strengths, interest, and career-purpose.
Leadership: Steve Ward and Mena Blue
Where we’re growing: With ICA’s seed capital investment we’re focusing on hiring a dedicated marketing person and two new sales roles.
Most impactful learning with ICA: There were so many helpful parts of the experience! Learning more about creating financial projections while in the Accelerator at ICA was critical. We’re learning how to carefully plan the growth of the organization, so we can focus on what’s important and plan for the time that we’ll need to reach our goals. We feel more present to where we are in the company and clear about the progress we’re making.
What Impact Note metrics are you focused on achieving: We’re focused on ensuring that we’re hiring diverse candidates that reflect the Bay Area community we’re working within.
Rockridge is a D2C menswear line designed in Oakland, on a mission to empower and support the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders that drive the world forward.
Leadership: Randy Wells and Tony Gray
Where we’re growing: We’re focused on enhancing our storytelling and improving operations. With this seed capital investment from ICA, Rockridge will be bringing on support for merchandise planning and inventory management, and growing our brand through increasing our social presence, brand activations, and building new partnerships.
Where we’re growing: Most impactful learning with ICA: During one of our advising calls we were talking through the financials of the business and it became clear to me that I needed to commit to growing into my role as CEO — before I had been more focused on the creative side. ICA gave me the tools to step into my role as a CEO. I’m now better able to articulate the business from a financial perspective.
What Impact Note metrics are you focused on achieving: We’re honored to be in partnership with an investor that aligns with our values and philosophies as a brand. At Rockridge, we’re focused on supporting and investing in the next generation, so we will be looking to hire and nurture local talent, as well as grow opportunities to give back to the community, specifically youth.
Scenic Made makes gourmet gift boxes filled with delicious, small batch treats made with quality ingredients (organic, fair trade, sustainable and local where possible), beautifully packaged and sent to friends, colleagues or loved ones anywhere in the United States.
Leadership: Johanna Sedman
Where we’re growing: We make everything ourselves, so the only way to grow is to hire. We are working with the Bread Project, an organization that offers baking classes to people with barriers to employment to make some key hires from our local community for growing our production. We’ll also be using the ICA seed capital investment to grow our advertising and marketing and pursue expansion into corporate gifting.
Most impactful learning with ICA: ICA helped me figure out exactly what I want to do and how to get there. Before joining the program, I had a lot of ideas, and ICA helped me get clear on the impact I want to have with my business. The financial consulting really made us evaluate where we’re making money right now and how to connect that to the bigger picture. Caron (ICA’s Director of Programs and lead for the Lab at ICA) is the best — she makes you feel like you can do anything!
What Impact Note metrics are you focused on achieving: We're growing this business to be something good for our community. We’re focused on creating jobs for people with barriers to employment, and from there profit sharing with employees and growing our benefits like health care and retirement savings.
About ICA seed capital
ICA’s seed capital enables early-stage businesses that are not typically able to attract investors to access equity financing. This product bridges a financing gap for early-stage businesses that are traditionally overlooked by mainstream funders. Smaller businesses may lack the personal networks to fundraise and may only have access to high-cost debt options. With seed capital, these businesses get the option of equity for much-needed flexibility and growth capacity. ICA seed capital is available exclusively to companies who have participated in either of ICA's accelerator programs.
As a nonprofit venture capital CDFI (community development financial institution), ICA makes investments that support our vision of building an economy that works for all. Equity financing from the ICA Growth Fund is paired with business coaching and advising through the Accelerator at ICA and Lab at ICA. Through ICA's coaching, capital, and connections, we help great Bay Area businesses grow and create good jobs and shared wealth in our community.