2015 Gratitude

Alyssa OplandUncategorizedLeave a Comment


2015 has been a thrilling ride! At Canopy we are taking a moment to look back and reflect with great gratitude on all that has transpired since our launch in April. Over the course of 2015, Canopy evolved from a powerful idea to field-leading work in action. Because you have each inspired, supported, or informed our development in this inaugural year, we want to share a brief summary of what this incredible community has accomplished in 2015, and what lies ahead in the coming year. Across our business lines here is what we have collectively accomplished:

In 2015 we learned that there is considerable demand for digestible and living capital flow data that is centered on place as a unifying thesis.

To meet this demand we launched Canopy PLACES, our ecosystem mapping arm that will put capital flow and stakeholder data back into your hands in an intuitive and interactive online platform. This work will support community-generated economic solutions and new stakeholder collaborations.

Through our collaboration with the University of Oregon’s Business Innovation Institute, we are aggregating data on capital flows in the region to serve as the base layer of the map, and the core of a detailed report that will be published in early 2016.

You can support this work, and ensure that your organization makes it on to the map, by participating in this brief survey.

In the latter half of 2015 we heard significant demand in the field for action-oriented, collaborative learning. To this end, we launched Canopy CATALYST, our education and convening arm.

CATALYST cohorts are community-driven groups that raise their hands to participate in a deep dive on a particular economic challenge in their region.

Our first CATALYST cohort kicked-off in October 2015 with a focus on rural economic development, and will continue through the first quarter of 2016. This cohort includes voices from six states, the philanthropic, public and corporate sectors, and the communities they serve.

Several communities are raising their hands to engage CATALYST in 2016. You will likely see cohorts form around public health, community-generated (crowd-sourced) capital, clean energy, and workforce development.

If you are interested in any of these topics, or would like to plug CATALYST into your work, let us know!

To facilitate the flow of capital in our regional economy, we launched Canopy CAPITAL, our regional investment pipeline development arm.

Through CAPITAL we are identifying regionally-oriented investment opportunities and seeking to further scale these strategies through training and institution-oriented investment due diligence.

We have created partnerships with field experts to provide this training and diligence program with the goal of building stronger, more resilient communities through place-based investment capital.

Thus far CAPITAL has engaged three investment funds that span a wide range of impact goals and geographic focus: Gilded Rogue, Craft3, and the Salmon and Steelhead Innovation Fund.

In the year ahead Canopy will engage 6 – 8 additional fund managers in this program. If you would like to add a fund to our map or our online investment database, please tell us about it here.

As we look ahead to 2016, here are a few things you can expect to see from us in January:
  • A letter from our President & Founder Craig Muska detailing our 2016 strategy
  • A whitepaper on some of the unique legal and tax issues we addressed by structuring Canopy as a member-owned LLC. Like pioneers Omydiar Network and recent entrants the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we believe our corporate structure should reflect the complexities of leveraging different forms of investment capital at a community level.
  • Big announcements on new partnerships and events
  • A new location! We have deeply appreciated our incubation period at Threshold Group in 2015. In 2016 we will be spreading our wings at a new space in Pioneer Square. Starting January 1st, 2016 please send communications to, and come visit us at Galvanize Seattle (111 South Jackson Street; Suite 311; Seattle, WA 98104).
Thank you to everyone who has made this work possible in such a short time. By sharing your thinking, time, expertise, feedback, encouragement…and the list goes on, we are poised to think big in 2016. We would like to particularly thank the following groups for their deep commitment to our success.
We can’t say it enough: Thank you for your support as we have taken flight this year. We look forward to continuing and expanding our work in 2016, and creating vibrant communities together.
Happy Holidays,
Craig, Lauren, Brad and Sarah

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