Mission Throttle Invests in A2B Bikeshare

Mission Throttle has invested in A2B Bikeshare, a Michigan-based social enterprise dedicated to helping urban communities of all sizes become better connected, healthier, and more environmentally responsible.

A2B Bikeshare provides urban communities with a distributed network of bikes that contain automated, solar-powered software, at rental stations in which bikes are made available for individual riders for short-term use (thirty minutes to one hour). Once rented, a bike can be returned to any other station. The A2B system provides accessible, affordable, environmentally sound transportation solutions for any urban area without using taxpayer subsidies.

“We are grateful for the funding from Mission Throttle and excited to see this program thrive in Michigan and beyond,” A2B Bikeshare Founder and CEO Ansgar Strother said. “Our success is made possible because of the support from a wide range of community partners who all share our belief in accessible urban transportation.”

With a swipe of a credit card on their bike of choice, A2B Bikeshare members can rent a bike and new riders can register for membership. This streamlined process enables riders to quickly check out bikes and begin their ride. The on-bike software provides maps and directions and can display promotions for local organizations as riders stop nearby. An A2B Bikeshare mobile app is available on personal smartphones and, in conjunction with the A2B Bikeshare website, allows access to a real-time system map which shows bike and station availability. The personal app also allows members to place short-term reservations that ensure a currently-docked bike will still be available when they arrive at the station.

“Communities throughout the U.S. are looking for affordable, healthy, and environmentally friendly ways for community members to navigate around their urban centers,” says Jamie Shea, Managing Director of Investments for Mission Throttle. “Traditional methods such as walking, taxis, cars, buses, and rail systems only provide part of the solution. We are pleased to be partnering with a social enterprise that has such a strong model, and we believe that over time this program will contribute to the health and economic vitality of Michigan’s urban communities.”

A2B Bikeshare maintains an in-house engineering team to assist individual communities with developing custom bike sharing solutions. A2B successfully piloted its system in Lansing, Michigan in 2013 and will be returning there this spring to expand the current operation. They also plan to launch a 120-bike system this summer in the City of Fairbanks, Alaska.

About A2B
A2B Bikeshare is a transportation startup company that is passionate about helping communities become better connected, healthy and environmentally responsible. Founded in 2011 with support from University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship, A2B Bikeshare was created to address a need for affordable and flexible urban transit.

About Mission Throttle
Mission Throttle, LLC is an impact investing firm dedicated to accelerating positive social change in our local community. We invest in, advise, and support mission-driven organizations and entrepreneurs that intend to use business solutions to generate positive social outcomes. Although our work is based and focused in Michigan, we share our learning broadly, supporting tools and research to drive the global impact investing system forward.

Ann Arbor nonprofit wins top prize, raises $94,850 in RiseDetroit crowdfunding challenge

Ann Arbor-based Non-Profit Enterprise at Work leapfrogged two other leading contenders on crowdfunding website Crowdrise, to take the $50,000 grand prize for raising the most money in the RiseDetroit Challenge. The winning nonprofit, which does business as NEW: Solutions for Nonprofits, more than doubled its fundraising total in a surge between last Wednesday afternoon and the contest’s conclusion Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

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A local fundraising challenge (no ice water needed)

Here’s a local way to bring more money to worthy nonprofits in our region — and you don’t even have to get wet. But you can make it fun. It’s the RiseDetroit Challenge, powered by CrowdRise, a fundraising platform co-founded by Robert Wolfe.

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Mission Throttle and the Marjorie S. Fisher Fund Host Crowdfunding Challenge for Detroit Nonprofits

Phillip Fisher’s Mission Throttle and Marjorie S. Fisher have teamed up with CrowdRise to launch the RiseDetroit Challenge. Metro Detroit nonprofits are encouraged to sign up now for the Challenge, which begins on September 15 and ends on October 30.

Mission Throttle and the Marjorie S. Fisher Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan are donating a total of $100,000 in cash prizes to encourage people to fundraise on behalf of and donate to their favorite Detroit area nonprofit organizations. Using the CrowdRise platform, fundraising teams participating in the RiseDetroit Challenge will compete to raise the most money for their organization and win additional cash prizes. The organization that raises the most money by the end of the Challenge will receive a $50,000 donation, second place will receive a $20,000 donation and third place will receive a $10,000 donation. An additional $20,000 will be given to participating nonprofits throughout the campaign through weekly bonus Challenges. Organizations that don’t win prizes keep the money they raise.

“We’re excited to partner with CrowdRise to expose nonprofits to different fundraising methods” said Mission Throttle founder Phillip Wm. Fisher. “While Mission Throttle is primarily an impact investing and consulting firm for mission-driven organizations, we support crowdfunding in particular as a way to encourage and empower every member of our community in giving to others and to complement traditional philanthropic activity.” The Fisher family has a long history of giving in the Detroit community and beyond. “My mother (Marjorie S. Fisher) always says you start with your heart and then use your mind when giving back to the community. My hope is to find and fund innovative tools and programs that help people to do both,” says Fisher.

“We’re so, so psyched to work with so many amazing organizations in Detroit,” said CrowdRise co-founder and CEO, Robert Wolfe. The idea of leveraging the incredible generosity of Mission Throttle and the Fisher Family to raise a crazy amount of money for Detroit area charities is awesome.”

Metro Detroit area nonprofit organizations can sign up here until October 3. CrowdRise helps nonprofits get the most out of their campaigns, providing resources, custom emails and customer service every step of the way. For additional information, contact RiseDetroit@CrowdRise.com.

Mission Throttle Sponsors Statewide Prize for Social Entrepreneurship

Mission throttle is proud to partner once again with Michigan Corps for the 2014 Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, the nation’s first statewide competition in social entrepreneurship.

Mission Throttle will be sponsoring the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Prize, open to all social entrepreneurs across the state of Michigan who have created a sustainable model to address one or more of our state’s social or environmental challenges. Entries must demonstrate a clear revenue model, need for investment and potential for scale. The winner will be provided a $5,000 cash grant and admission to Michigan Corps’ Impact Investment Fellowship, valued at $15,000. Other prize tracks include health, urban revitalization, education and more.

Registration is open today and will close April 30th. Registered individuals and teams are asked to complete submissions by May 30th in order to compete.

The Beginning

A Note From Mission Throttle’s Founder

In 1955, my parents founded the The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation on the philosophy that life’s purpose is found in service to others, in creating opportunities for those who lack them, in supporting human community in all its forms and empowering individuals in self-sufficiency. My father, ahead of his time, always said that he was interested not just in philanthropy, but in social responsibility to meet the obligations each one of us owes to society and introduced me to the idea of “Tzedekah” – giving to others not as charity, but as a mutually beneficial interaction.In 2009, I founded Mission Throttle, an impact investment firm dedicated to bringing those concepts to life by helping evolve the role capital plays in philanthropy and our communities.

As experienced investors, philanthropists and community leaders, the Mission Throttle team is privileged and uniquely positioned to deliver on what we see as our social responsibility, and we stand on the shoulders of other pioneers around the world who are already using their hearts and their heads, proving increased value to society while seeking financial returns.

A New L3C Creates a Fund for Detroit Social Entrepreneurs

The son of the late Max Fisher, Philip Fisher is the vice chairman of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Family Foundation. A successful investor in his own right, Fisher has played an active role in the Fisher Foundation, an increasingly important philanthropic actor trying to deal with Detroit’s economic crisis—and he has his own low-profit limited liability corporation (L3C). Michigan is one of the first of a quickly growing number of states to authorize L3Cs. Given Michigan’s economic freefall, the state was clearly interested in any innovative approach that might help lift it out of its economic doldrums. It figured the so-called hybrid entity of an L3C, a for-profit company with a social mission, might work.

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Fisher Seeks Investors Who Want to Make a Social Impact

Phillip Fisher plans to create a fund to work on social issues and support social entrepreneurs.

What if money invested in organizations working to improve social conditions could be redeployed over and over, while providing a financial and social-impact return for those supporting the work? The concept isn’t new; a few large foundations have been making investments—in addition to grants—in work related to their missions for years. But Phillip Fisher, founder of Mission Throttle L3C and vice chairman of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Family Foundation, hopes to attract a new class of investors, from individuals to corporations and government, to support Michigan-based social-impact efforts and social entrepreneurs through investments in a new social-impact fund that he hopes will attract $10 million to $50 million. That, experts say, is a game changer.

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