'Miniature Berkshire Hathaway' Open to Crowdfund Investments
CoPeace Founder and CEO Craig Jonas Shares the Vision for Opening Impact Investing to Ordinary Investors—Not Just the Wealthy
Devin: What do you see as your superpower?
Craig: I played college basketball, and then I really didn’t know what I was going to do when I grew up. So I became a college basketball coach, and I was a very young head college basketball coach. I think my superpower is the ability to lead and motivate teams. I think that the ability to coach translated into business. As I look at my superpower, I think it is the ability to lead in an authentic way that that people can believe in and get behind.
Craig Jonas is the founder and CEO of an innovative impact investment vehicle open to ordinary investors. He set up CoPeace as a holding company rather than a venture fund, enabling him to sell shares via Regulation Crowdfunding. The company’s current round is now available on Wefunder.
Regulation Crowdfunding specifically bars venture funds or blind pools from using this exemption from full registration, but the holding company structure is allowed.
An independent selection committee approved CoPeace to pitch at the SuperCrowd23 NC3 Impact Crowdfunding Live pitch session. The live pitch sessions will be a highlight of the virtual conference.
The final deadline for applications to pitch remains open until April 30.
Superpowers for Good readers are eligible for half-price tickets. Early bird pricing also ends April 30. Register now!
Craig Jonas is the founder and CEO of CoPeace, a company that invests in impactful businesses.
CoPeace offers equity investing and services such as finance and marketing to help companies grow.
The company is currently running a Wefunder campaign to raise capital.
CoPeace has eight holdings, including Uncharted Power.
Jonas believes his superpower is leading and motivating teams, influenced by his experience as a college basketball coach.
He has helped start companies, including the team that invented the virtual yellow line in American football.
Jonas emphasizes the importance of empathy and being an authentic leader as a changemaker.
CoPeace.com is the company’s website for more information and social media links.
Craig explains the CoPeace business model as a “miniature Berkshire Hathaway.”
“As a holding company, we have a little bit of an asset allocation dictated by the SEC,” he says. “So, like Berkshire Hathaway, 40 percent of our assets can be deployed in companies that are not majority holders, and 60 percent or more have to be in companies that we have 50 percent or more voting shares.”
The structure is essential for allowing the company to achieve one of its core objectives: allowing ordinary investors to participate in a professionally managed impact investing business.
Craig points out an irony that is prevalent in the impact investing world. “Impact investing, which is intended to invest in things that are more inclusive, has not been inclusive on the opportunity to be participating.”
For the offering currently underway, Craig explains that they are conducting parallel offerings as allowed under SEC rules, raising both on WeFunder for ordinary investors and via a Regulation D 506 c offering that can be announced publicly but only allows wealthy or “accredited” investors to participate.
Craig explained the company’s decision to use a $100 minimum investment for this crowdfunding round:
We have like 425 people now on our cap table, and we're in a platform that charges us every year to have these people in our cap table. So there's a balance there between making sure it's accessible and weighing the costs. But for us, we just wanted more people involved. So, we thought that the benefit of that outweighed the fact that there were going to be some costs down the road. Then, that community can be our champions, and they can cheer us on and help spread the word.
Over his career, Craig has developed team leadership as a superpower.
How to Develop Team Leadership As a Superpower
Craig has been leveraging the leadership skills he developed as an athlete and a basketball coach throughout his business career. He shared an example of how that has led to some significant success:
Several things that we've done have been deemed impossible. I mean, when we created the glowing blue puck in hockey, for example, nobody thought that technology would be possible. It was a very difficult challenge. Our engineering team and the rest of our group were able to generate this technology for broadcast television, and then that became the virtual yellow line.
If you’re like me, you find it difficult to imagine watching a football game without the virtual lines indicating the line of scrimmage and the line to gain for a first down. That was a massive win in my book.
Craig suggests that the key to leadership for changemakers is empathy, noting, however, that it is harder to do than to say.
One key, he suggests, is to intentionally make time to “understand yourself, your team, your ecosystem and how they are interrelated and affect one another.”
By following Craig’s example and counsel, you can increase your empathy, improving your leadership skills, potentially enabling them to become a superpower that empowers you to do more good in the world.
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Craig Jonas (he/him):
Founder and CEO, CoPeace PBC
About CoPeace PBC: CoPeace helps impactful companies grow. As an impact-driven holding company, CoPeace is building a portfolio of carefully selected businesses with measurable social and environmental impact. Additionally, CoPeace provides a variety of consulting services to organizations demonstrating positive social or environmental impact.
As a fully certified B Corp and public-benefit corporation (PBC), CoPeace is committed to acting morally, ethically, and responsibly in regard to society and the environment. Equity, inclusion, and justice are not just valued at CoPeace – they are pillars supporting our mission.
Twitter Handle: twitter.com/copeace
Company Facebook Page: fb.com/CoPeacePBC
Biographical Information: Craig is a lifelong entrepreneur with a history of success across the fields of business, academics, and athletics. He has over 30 years of experience in management with a passion for team-building and drawing individuals with big ideas together.
Craig founded CoPeace in 2018, put together a highly-talented team and board, and quickly helped CoPeace achieve Certified B Corp. and Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) status. He launched CoPeace’s holding company with strong initial investments in sustainable infrastructure and impact-related services. In order to democratize access to the equity game, Craig spurred the creation of a successful crowdfunding investment vehicle. He has been featured in Forbes, Worth, Triple Pundit and numerous other publications and outlets and is a frequent guest on investing-related podcasts.
Prior to CoPeace, Craig served as COO of Basketball Travelers and BTI Events, an elite sports event management and media conglomerate. In this role, he supervised international sporting events and tours worldwide. He served as the head or deputy head of the American delegation for the Summer and Winter World University Games from 2007-17.
Previously, Craig served as vice president for business development for the broadcast media technology firm, Sportvision, best known for bringing revolutionary visual enhancements to live sports broadcasts, including American football’s yellow first-down line and baseball’s strike zone. Prior to Sportvision, Craig served as the executive vice president of Coach’s Edge and helped initiate its $100-million merger with Sportvision.
Craig earned his doctorate in conflict management from the University of Kansas, where he also taught leadership, marketing, and management courses. Craig earned a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in Minnesota and completed a master's degree at Colorado State University. He is the father of two sons and lives with his wife, Seanna, and dog, Fergus, in Colorado.
Twitter Handle: twitter.com/DocJay45
Personal Facebook Profile: fb.com/craig.jonas.77
Instagram Handle: instagram.com/copeacepbc/
Other URL: wefunder.com/copeace