Case Studies

Fund Case Study

Capital Access Lab Case Study


Launched in 2019, the Capital Access Lab is a national pilot initiative that aims to find, promote, and scale innovative fund managers, providing new kinds of capital to the 83%+ of underserved entrepreneurs and communities in the United States.


The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (Kauffman Foundation) committed $3M to seed this new initiative with follow-on funding of $500K from The Rockefeller Foundation. CAL was structured as a DAF under the sponsorship of public charity ImpactAssets.

Source: Capital Access Lab

Investment Strategy

CAL used a fund-of-funds (FoF) approach to seed innovative fund models that do not resemble traditional VC or lending. The FoF aims to spur the formation of new capital products, such as revenue-based loans and redeemable equity, which increase investment to underserved entrepreneurs who have been historically left behind due to their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, and/or geographic location. CAL primarily makes anchor LP investments of $400K to $600K into emerging fund managers that make direct investments to underserved entrepreneurs across the US.

Source: Kauffman Foundation

Track Record

Capital Access Lab (2019, $3.5M) – As of June 2022, CAL has invested $3.4M in six funds, catalyzing an additional $166M+ in investments for the funds.

CAL’s portfolio funds include:

  • Anzu Partners (DC) is an early-stage investment firm that backs industrial and life science technology companies in manufacturing, materials, modeling and measurement. Anzu launched a revenue-based fund to expand its product offerings beyond traditional VC.
  • 1863 Ventures (DC) is a $10M revenue-based financing fund for New Majority entrepreneurs.
  • Capacity Capital (Chattanooga, TN) is a $2M place-based fund providing redeemable equity for local small businesses in Chattanooga.
  • Collab Capital (Atlanta, GA) is a $52M early-stage fund that uses an innovative profit share model for Black founders in the US.
  • (Salt Lake City, UT) provides seed-stage funding for overlooked startups that do not scale big enough or fast enough for traditional VC.
  • Founders First Capital Partners (San Diego, CA) provides revenue-based funding and business acceleration support to service-based small businesses led by underrepresented founders outside of major capital markets.

Why was a DAF a good fit for CAL?

The DAF structure was a good fit for CAL because it unlocked grant funding from the Kauffman Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation to make market-rate LP investments in first-time and emerging fund managers with innovative models. The DAF served as a flexible investment vehicle for CAL to launch quickly and enable the team to get creative with the investment strategy. If CAL launched a traditional FoF structure, it would have cost significantly more, taken several years to raise LP capital, and delayed capital flowing to innovative capital models and, ultimately, underserved entrepreneurs across the US.

Fund Structure

  • Donor: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Donor Advisor: Capital Access Lab
  • DAF Sponsor: ImpactAssets, Inc.
  • Fund: Kauffman Capital Access Fund
  • Fund Type: DAF
  • Capital Products: LP commitments and GP investments
  • Launch Date: December 2018
  • Grant Amount: $3M

DAF Fees

  • Total Annual Fees: 0.90%
    • Annual Administrative Fee (blended): 0.38%
    • Annual Investment Administrative Fee (blended): 0.52%


Fund Types

Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs: Removing Barriers Report (2021 Update): Kauffman Foundation

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