Kirchner Impact Foundation announces unprecedented impact initiative to be deployed from Costa Rica

The Kirchner-Donovan Impact Initiative is designed to enhance the Impact Investing Ecosystem in the Heart of the Americas

Jacksonville, Florida and San Jose, Costa Rica – 13 October 2021 – The Kirchner Impact Foundation is pleased to announce the latest stage of incremental paradigm development, extending almost a decade, focused on impact activities. The new initiative combines the existing Kirchner Food Fellowship program which trains university-students on impact investment best practices in a “learning-by-doing” framework, the Kirchner Investment Academy which works with entrepreneurs and angel investors to better understand the investment process and the recently established Kirchner Liaison Activities, a matchmaking program. The Kirchner-Donovan Impact Initiative (KDII) has identified Costa Rica as the initial location to further refine the paradigm in the Central American region.

KDIIs mission is to assist in training the next generation of Central American resource allocators to deploy disciplined capital and help connect impact-driven organizations to the resources that best fit their needs, while contributing to the economic growth of the region using a holistic approach to strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Kirchner Group’s proprietary model of “ideas to change” will be the bedrock of how KDII pursues its mission over the long term – originating from the firm’s philosophy of “creating value while promoting values”.

In 2014, Kirchner Group (KG), through one of its “returning” arms, the Kirchner Impact Foundation (KIF) launched the world’s first impact investment Fellowship: The Kirchner Food Fellowship (KFF). The program trains and empowers diverse and distributed investment teams consisting of university students from a variety of backgrounds, to learn the fundamentals of investment and then source, diligence and execute on an impact investment addressing global food security. To date the program has assessed applications from hundreds of students and has mentored over 30 individuals across 10 distinct cohorts representing 10 countries and 50+ institutions.

“The Rockefeller Foundation recognizes and supports the important work of Kirchner Impact Foundation in amplifying diverse voices in agriculture venture capital, especially those from HBCUs. It is our hope that this vital work will help to build more equitable, nourishing, and regenerative food systems.” – Roy Steiner, Senior Vice President of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Food Initiative

In addition to accolades for helping develop a new generation of impact capital allocators, the program has also received meaningful recognition and support for its contributions to improving gender, racial and cultural diversity in the investment industry.

Five years ago, KIF developed a complementary training program that demystifies the investment process for entrepreneurs and introduces eager, yet perhaps inexperienced, “angel” investors to the art of deploying disciplined capital. This program, known as the Kirchner Investment Academy (KIA), has provided instruction to over 400 entrepreneurs and potential angel investors around the world.  KIA continues to evolve and expand.

“The Kirchner Food Fellowship is continuing its legacy as one of the cornerstones of the global Food Security movement. I applaud Kirchner’s remarkable foresight and dedication to this initiative.”  – June Henton, Dean of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University and Executive Director, Hunger Solutions Institute

Continuing its trademark paradigm development approach, two years ago KIF established Kirchner Liaison Activities (KLA), a matchmaking program that connects social enterprises, pre-screened by Kirchner Food Fellows, with appropriate resources such as regional impact funds, accelerators, incubators and other unique capital sources.

The new Kirchner-Donovan Impact Initiative (KDII), will act as a hub of support for the regional entrepreneurial and impact investing ecosystems by building bridges between social entrepreneurs, technical resources, and global capital sources by combining Kirchner Group’s three programs under one umbrella.

“We are excited to work together with Kirchner Group to continue enhancing Costa Rica´s entrepreneurial ecosystem aimed to drive investment with purpose. The activities of KDII will be a great addition to Costa Rica´s value proposition directed to creating impact on the triple bottom line considering people, planet and prosperity, particularly in topics as critical to the world as food security. We are happy to serve as a springboard to promote this type of vision in the Central American region as well. There are few groups in the world who could bring to our region the level of experience and expertise that Kirchner Group will.” – Eric Scharf Taitelbaum, President of the Board of Directors of CINDE.

Joining Kirchner Group in supporting this endeavor is renowned technology and advertising entrepreneur, Michael Donovan, who was born in Panama and raised in Costa Rica. He was an early pioneer in the computer engineering industry, starting with IBM in 1964 before striking out on his own in 1965 to launch his first company.

“KDII leverages four decades of paradigm building within the Kirchner Group based on our involvement internationally as advisors and principals in fostering ideas and turning them into products and services,” commented Kirchner Group’s Founder and CEO W.B. (Bud) Kirchner. “The Kirchner-Donovan Impact Initiative is an experiment with significant upside potential that could advance the way private sector development is undertaken world-wide.”

Kirchner Impact Foundation
Kirchner Impact Foundation (KIF), is a non-profit organization that serves as one of the “returning” arms of Kirchner Group. KIF harnesses the positive power of enterprise to make a difference in addressing some of the most important issues of today and reflects our belief that all businesses should contribute to a positive human future.

Through the Kirchner Impact Model (“returning” with headhip and heart), the foundation promotes capital efficiency and sustainable enterprises. KIF activities aim to generate a measurable, social and/or environmental benefit, primarily across four sectors: Agriculture/Food, Health/Life Science, Energy/Resources and Education.

Steve Dauphin | Director | +1 205.602.9845|

Kirchner Group
Kirchner Group was founded in 1985 as a boutique advisory firm and today operates various subsidiaries, providing advisory services (M&A, assessments, diligence) and operational support (interim management, workouts, turnarounds) as well as asset management (dedicated, portfolio optimization) – all leveraging a proprietary approach that dovetails domain and process expertise.

Throughout the decades Kirchner Group has been internationally recognized for its unique business model centered around creating value while promoting values: “earning while returning”. The firm has also established a reputation for building and rebuilding important business and social paradigms based on its deep entrepreneurial orientation.

Kirchner Group’s clients and partners include early stage to mid-market companies, venture capital and private equity firms as well as family offices and some of the world’s largest insurance companies, commercial banks and institutional investors.

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Blair Kirchner | Managing Director & Co-Head of Impact Activities |