Our Story

As a fifth-generation investment executive, Robert Smith created ICV to connect hard-to-reach Family Offices and leading Fund Investors in a collaborative and safe environment to evaluate opportunities that create a social impact beyond a financial return.

ICV began in 2014 when we hosted a gathering in Napa Valley for 20 like-minded people with enormous abilities and assets in a comfortable setting. Within two years, attendance at our events increased fifteen-fold (255 out of 396 investor applicants approved and 49 presenters), without advertising and sponsorship. ICV Manhattan 2015 attracted 133 Single Family Offices and Fund Investors managing more than $1 trillion in combined assets. Within two years, we were joined by many of the top asset managers in the world by strategy and industry-focus, some of the largest institutional allocators, New York Times bestselling authors, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the former president of the United Nations General Assembly.

In 2015, we diversified the content of our events to appeal to ultra wealthy individuals who do not typically attend investor conferences. We introduced Nobel Peace Laureates, civil society leaders, distinguished economists and futurists who spoke about threats facing humanity, far beyond the interconnected risks that could disrupt a well-thought-out portfolio designed for future generations. Recognizing that we could convene individuals capable of advancing not only sustainable development, but charitable giving at a significant level, we introduced art and music to our events, and raised the level of consciousness and understanding of participants that even the smallest donation to a nonprofit organization can have a profound effect on many. By stimulating a critical mass of investor attendees, we stimulated companies to align their strategies and operations with sustainable development and take actions that advance societal goals.

In 2016, on the observance of the International Day of Peace, in support of the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, ICV hosted an intimate dinner in honor of three inspiring and heroic women, Leymah Gbowee, Shirin Ebadi, Tawakkol Karman, all Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, who shared their experiences and insights in meeting personal and global challenges and policies for a more peaceful, secure and sustainable world. Other participants seated at the 32-person dinner table included Jonathan Granoff and Amir Dossal, UN Representatives of the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and representatives of Family Offices and Fund Investors with access to more than $100 billion in investment capital. This special event marked the first time that three Nobel Peace Laureates directly engaged investors and philanthropists and their first contribution in New York since the Permanent Secretariat obtained consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
 

“ICV is a field of dreams. It is where you go to realize the dream you didn’t know you had.”

 – Robert Smith, Founder of ICV

 
At ICV Manhattan 2016: Imagine, a first-of-its-kind event, we convened more than 100 Family Offices and Fund Investors managing more than $2 trillion in combined assets. We featured over 70 speakers, including leading Industry-focused Institutional Investors (e.g., agriculture, entertainment, financial, healthcare, technology), CEOs, Ambassadors, Civil Society Leaders, distinguished Economists, Futurists, New York Times bestselling Authors, famous Artists, a Nobel Peace Laureate, and a 27-piece orchestra. CNBC conducted an interview during the event.

In 2017, we expanded into healthcare innovation with ICV Philadelphia, the first large-scale investor conference hosted at an academic medical center. Not just another healthcare conference, ICV Philadelphia at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health brought together Family Offices, Fund Investors, Key Opinion Leaders, Academia and Chief Executives to mobilize capital towards treatments capable of curing a myriad of illnesses, thus helping people to live longer, with less pain, and profoundly improve countless lives. CBS conducted interviews during the event.

Today, ICV connects change makers with investors who by virtue and wealth advance corporate responsibility, capitalize businesses at significant levels, and influence systemic change. We are mobilizing trillions of dollars to find solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Working exclusively with companies that achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as a proud member of the United Nations Global Compact, and as a partner to USAID, ICV is bridging the gap between political and financial worlds to drive development.

During the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), we hosted ICV Investing in the Global Goals, a historic five-part event, where we convened Family Offices, Fund Investors, Heads of State and Government, Foreign Ministers and CEOs of the Private Sector for one urgent purpose: to realize the $12 trillion opportunity that is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On September 15, the observance of the International Day of Peace, at the international United Nations Headquarters, ICV hosted the ICV Global Youth Summit 2017 at the United Nations, where we convened the next generation of Senior UN Leaders, Change Makers, Social Entrepreneurs and Philanthropists to educate and inspire all ages to think more creatively about their role as global citizens.

On September 17, we hosted ICV Presents: An Evening with Jane Goodall. World-Renowned conservationist, humanitarian, United Nations Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane Goodall discussed her hope for the natural world in challenging times.

Also on September 17, ICV joined Global Citizen, The Riverside Church and Lululemon Athletica for Breaking the Silence: Beyond the Dream, an intergenerational, interfaith program that called on people from all walks of life to RISE UP and speak out on the injustices facing the world. Just as Martin Luther King, Jr. did at The Riverside Church 50 years ago, Breaking the Silence delivered a universal call to action to “love thy neighbor.”

On September 19 at the Movement Makers Summit, ICV and Global Citizen, two leaders in campaigning and organizing around the Sustainable Development Goals, convened the best minds in movement building to equip change-makers, marketers and everyday citizens with the tools they need to understand, learn from, and build sustainable and impactful movements.

On September 20, ICV hosted one of its most impactful events to date, ICV Manhattan 2017: Investing in African Health Systems, where we convened CEOs from the Private Sector, Ministers of Health of five countries, Heads of UN Agencies, Philanthropists, Institutional Investors and Innovators to create sustainable health systems for Africa.

Following the United Nations General Assembly, we took an innovative approach from outside the nonprofit sector, and launched nonprofit and for-profit businesses to catalyze blended investment and innovation for impact.

Managed by sophisticated investment professionals with more than 20 years of experience on average, the ICV Donor Advised Program provides philanthropists the opportunity to allocate their capital in a conscious way to seven catalytic philanthropy projects led by changemakers who have the character, courage and commitment to solving the world’s greatest challenges.

Through Catalytic Philanthropy we form unlikely strategic partnerships, employ innovative financing solutions and leverage our convening power to create scale and drive philanthropy to catalytic projects that achieve measurable impact and influence systemic change.

 

  • The Cancer Breakthroughs Fund, a partnership between ICV and Jefferson, was created to invest in proof-of-concept studies that typically go unfunded through traditional government and industry sources; fuel early-stage investigators in cancer research; and support the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians who hope to write the final chapters of the story that puts cancer into the history books. We have a particular focus on prostate cancer with Dr. Karen Knudsen, one of the top researchers in the world in this area, leading the Fund.
     
    This Fund can also allocate to the ICV Cancer Impact Grants to fuel the research of HDFCCC’s most promising and innovative physician-scientists. Each quarter, Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS – President, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and E. Dixon Heise Distinguished Professor in Oncology— and the HDFCCC review panel, will select one Impact Grant winner. All ICV members will be kept abreast of the latest findings and breakthroughs made possible by the Fund and the projects of the grant recipients.
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  • The Every Breath Counts Fund is a private-public partnership of some of the biggest names in development that formed the Every Breath Counts Coalition, where ICV shall bring visibility to the burden of pneumonia, the leading killer of children under 5. ICV is working closely with the Clinton Health Access Initiative to serve the most vulnerable population, Nigeria, by catalyzing investment in innovations and breakthrough technologies.
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  • The Omnis Fund, a partnership between ICV and the Omnis Institute, was created to support critical research focused on solutions to the health disparities in both refugee camps and urban refugee communities.
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  • The Give Freedom Fund is designed for wealthy individuals who wish to advance the well-being of humankind but who may not have the time to diligence organizations or who consider their allocations too large for the capacity of early-stage organizations. ICV has carefully selected early and mid-stage nonprofit organizations — focused on ending modern slavery, human trafficking with an emphasis on sex trafficking, and violence against women and children — for a portfolio structured within a donor-advised fund. ICV conducts extensive due diligence on the organizations, gaining transparency which we, in turn, provide to our donors along with measurable results.
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  • The Back from the Brink Fund: A Call to Prevent Nuclear War, a partnership with PSR led by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Ira Helfand, will employ a strategy to help Americans understand the enormity of the destruction that nuclear war will cause; the great and increasing danger that nuclear weapons will be used; and the reality that nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to our health, safety and security.
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  • The One Humanity Institute Fund: A City of Hope seeks to create a global peace epicenter at Auschwitz, where visitors can experience the stark realities of the past alongside models of transformation for a culture of sustainable peace and the uniting of humanity. We will present tools for positive change and as a positive alternative to destructive patterns of development.
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  • The Inner and Outer Peace Fund is focused on advancing human potential and effecting positive change for humankind.
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  • A Landmine-Free Colombia is a partnership between ICV, the Permanent Secretariat of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and APOPO, which has removed over 100,000 landmines using mine detection rats. In Colombia, we will build peace, sustainable agricultural and health systems, and flourishing communities empowered by decent work, gender equality and security through the removal of the country’s landmines. By using animal detection methods instead of traditional methods, we believe we can have the country landmine-free in 6 years rather than the current pace of 20-30 years.
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  • The Aluna Fund will initially support the historic Original Caretakers Ceremonial Visit of the Kogi, from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia to the United States, which will be led by Kogi Mamos from Colombia and Otomi Shamans from Mexico, and to assist the Kogi in repurchasing their ancestral lands.
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  • New Era World Model will build economically empowered, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable communities while maintaining their cultural dignity and natural identity. The NEW model engages community leaders and works from the bottom up, then to the top down to create a sustainable system that the community wants.
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  • The ICV Afya Fund aims to transfer the value of the development in medical technology over the last few years from western sources to emerging markets, thereby creating positive change and a social impact beyond a financial return.
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  • The Africa Rising Fund will support the “100 Mandelas” project, which will celebrate, elevate and extend the legacy and example left by Nelson Mandela. Together, we can empower the underserved youth of Africa to become productive citizens of African communities by overcoming educational and economical challenges.
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  • Come Together will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ historic journey to Rishikesh, India, where the band had a spiritual transformation that profoundly affected their music and others. This 3-day music festival will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to synergistically combine events from the past, present and future through music, discourse and action. We expect 3,000 attendees for a global event that will be broadcasted around the world, with participating side events and vigils. Prospective artists include Bono, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys. There has also been interest from some of The Beatles stakeholders.
     
    At Come Together, we will launch a multiyear study to measure the Spiritual Impact on the 3,000 participants in Rishikesh and the millions of others who will participate digitally in the 3-day festival online. Leading institutions such as Harvard, MIT, the Neuroscape Research Lab at UCSF and the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley have researched neural pathways and music, and verified scientifically what we have known throughout centuries — humans are Wired for Music. We will also launch Water is a Human Right, an international effort to clean the Ganges River which is worshipped by more than 1 billion people and is a source of water for more than 400 million people.

 

After hearing the personal story of Jeff Amershadian, a successful investment banker who raised over $150 million for various companies, then departed from Wall Street after he made a promise to his dying sister that he would dedicate his life to funding research for people with all terminal conditions, ICV announced two events to convene Family Offices around Golf, Innovation and Philanthropy. In November 2017, we hosted ICV St. Augustine: PGA Pro-Am & Healthcare Innovation Forum. In January 2018, we hosted ICV Scottsdale: PGA Pro-Am & Healthcare Innovation Forum, where Dr. Karen Knudsen, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and one of six women in the United States to serve as director of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center, presented the ICV Group Cancer Breakthroughs Fund to invest in proof-of-concept studies that typically go unfunded through traditional government and industry sources.

In January 2018, healthcare was the focus of two other events. At ICV San Francisco 2018 at the University of California San Francisco, we hosted a series of presentations where change-makers and forward-thinking leaders shared their ideas and evaluated opportunities to solve some of the most complex challenges in human health. At ICV Geneva 2018, hosted on the margins of the 142nd Session of the World Health Organization Executive Board, we developed innovative partnerships between governments, investment firms and the private sector to catalyze blended investment in innovations and drive transformational aid for development.

In February 2018, we launched The Afya Fund to strengthen African health systems through impact investing. The development in medical technology over the last few years has been unprecedented. The Afya Fund aims to transfer this value from western sources to emerging markets, thereby creating positive change in our lifetimes and a social impact beyond a financial return.

Through Venture Engineering we are rapidly and efficiently de-risking early stage companies through active and early engagement in the market, and strategically partnering and positioning companies for multiple exit opportunities. In April 2018, we launched ICV Venture Engineering Fund I to invest in privately-held emerging life science companies: transformative technology platforms that have proven, scalable, platform technologies that will transform large markets and enable multiple deals and fast exits.

More than ever, we need business to be purposeful and pro-active in helping to ensure stability and drive social and economic transformation.

More than ever, the opportunity exists to attract investment capital for sustainable development.

Join us in mobilizing capital for good.