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Dao Ventures’ Zhang: The impact ecosystem is developing very slowly in China
Tao Zhang, co-founder of Dao Ventures and founder of one of the first impact funds in China, discusses his latest clean food impact investment in Shenzhen and the slow development of the impact ecosystem in China

March 17, 2020 | Chris Georgiou
  • An ecosystem involving multiple stakeholders will be very much indispensable to the healthy long-term growth of impact investing in China, according to Tao Zhang.
  • The latest investment in Starfield signals an increasing focus by the group to tackle the huge environmental impact in food production
  • Zhang believes millennials in China can be geared towards alternative meat and related products.

Cross-border impact venture Dao Foods International, which aims to introduce environmentally friendly plant-based and clean meat in China, announced on 12 March its latest impact investment in Starfield Food and Science Technology Limited, a food technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, in partnership with New Crop Capital (NCC). 

Dao Ventures, a cross-border impact investment, advisory and accelerator group with co-headquartered offices in both China and the United States, was co-founded by Tao Zhang. He also founded China Impact Fund (CIF) with the backing of a Hong Kong-based family foundation and several high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in Mainland China. CIF is considered as China’s first impact fund specialising in supporting environmental small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

So far, the Dao Ventures consortium, along with its philanthropic affiliate Green Startups Accelerator, has invested in, assisted and provided a variety of services to over 1,000 SMEs and accelerated over 100 ventures. It has also made and/or facilitated investments of over $200 million in addition to providing over 40 seed grants of $500 to $20,000 to impact ventures across the United States, Canada, Israel and China.

Since August 2019, Dao Foods has been hosting Boot Camps across China to catalyse sustainable plant-based protein food entrepreneurship and has also announced the establishment of the China Next Gen Good Food Incubator to more effectively identify, nurture and support entrepreneurial projects like Sta...

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