Sarah Cone is the founder and Managing Partner at Social Impact Capital. Referred to by Forbes as a "risk-taker who has proven herself," Sarah is an experienced venture capitalist who has proven that impact investing can generate strong financial returns while producing a positive effect on the world. Sarah invests from the earliest stages in founders that have with innovative and impactful solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. and helps them show their businesses are scalable in order to acquire follow-on funding from top-tier venture capital firms.
Sarah Cone launched the New York City-based firm in 2016 and, over six years, it has secured follow-on financing for 100% of its portfolio companies, with 94% of the financings being led by top-tier venture capital firms. The firm uses an “impact arbitrage” investment strategy, investing from the seed stage on companies that offer solutions to some of the world's biggest environmental and societal challenges. Social Impact Capital is one of the few woman-led VC firms in the country.
Since launching Social Impact Capital, Sarah has grown its portfolio to include more than 30 companies with innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing environmental and social problems. Sarah was one of the earliest investors in Prometheus Fuels, the world’s first zero-carbon fuel unicorn, and was an early investor in Andela, another social impact unicorn. She was the first VC investor in OpenInvest which was acquired by JP Morgan. Other portfolio companies include Totus Medicines, Charm Industrial, Aether Diamonds, and Menten AI. Sarah is a board observer for Emitwise and JUDY, and was formerly on the board of PreAct.
Sarah Cone's prior venture capital experience includes two years at Illuminate Ventures, where she was an Associate for the B2B enterprise/cloud-focused firm. Sarah got her start in venture capital at Omidyar Network's emerging technologies venture capital group. Sarah also worked in the legal department at Google and at technology law firm Fenwick & West.
Sarah's passion for addressing important societal issues extends beyond venture capital. She began her career at the nonprofit Public Knowledge and was on a working group to protect human rights in China in partnership with major tech companies and human rights NGOs. Sarah has been active in volunteer work on the issues of human rights, asylum, and entrepreneurship. She is a Board Advisor to Axiom Education.
Sarah received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the Jurisprudence Award for academic excellence and the Advocacy Award for persuasive writing. She also holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from Evergreen State College.
I often find myself telling people that Sarah Cone has been the single most impactful person in Emitwise’s history to date. Given our experience working with them, and knowing that they work like that with all their startups, frankly, I have no doubt Social Impact Capital will soon be recognized as one of the leading funds in the world. It’s a level of conviction, immediate action, and deep support which is quite rare in this world. One of the few investors I’ve worked with that actually learn what you’re doing, and learn it to the point they could easily be part of the team. That’s why they’re like no other.
Mauro Cozzi, Co-Founder and CEO, Emitwise
Sarah and SIC have been an immense help since day one. In fact, even before they closed their investment in PreAct they started helping us! And having Sarah on my board has brought great insight and direction to the team.
Paul Drysch, Co-Founder and CEO, PreAct
Sarah was Advano’s very first institutional investor. She believed in my vision and was quick to follow-through on her decision to back me after doing extensive due diligence. Unlike most venture investors, she understands the science fully. The relationship grew, and she was instrumental to us being able to raise follow-on funding, making key introductions and communicating with potential investors. Sarah also introduced us to our first customer. I would highly advise partnering with Sarah – she supports the vision and understands it is about supporting the journey! She is one of our favorite investors!
Alexander Girau, Founder and CEO, Advano
SIC is easily in the top tier of investors I’ve worked with. They’re incredibly hard-working to source opportunities and connections for their portfolio companies. Sarah is not only incredibly well-connected, but is willing to tap into that network to provide support and back-channels where helpful. When I have really tough problems I’m working on, SIC is always on the shortlist to hit up for ideas or support. Importantly, SIC isn’t overbearing with their ideas and when you have convictions, they’ve got your back.
Alec Lee, Co-Founder and CEO, Endless West
Sarah was the first VC to spot our potential. We came through Y Combinator and six months later were building what is a large and highly regulated product at the pre-traction phase. It was also time to fundraise. She came to the first meeting well-prepared with extensive knowledge of the market. With our angel round, we were able to get the company to a point where Andreessen Horowitz followed-on in an oversubscribed round and every VC could see the potential of our company.