Archive Of The Category ‘Events‘


Catalytic Capital Enables The Town Kitchen to Expand Services in Adverse Times

The Town Kitchen logo

Montcalm is re-imagining the way our financial system works. 

The venture capital model prioritizes companies that have the potential for 20x growth and an IPO or other exit strategy. The hunt for the next unicorn leaves many companies undercapitalized–particularly ones that are as driven to create social value as they are financial returns. 

Montcalm is a financial services platform committed to increasing both the velocity and volume of capital flowing to support organizations working towards a better world. Our investment in The Town Kitchen is a case study in activating the ecosystem we’ve created to fund a social enterprise that is rapidly responding to the unprecedented need in a time of considerable uncertainty.

Established in 2015, The Town Kitchen is a community-driven food company that employs and trains youth from the foster care and reentry communities (traditionally underemployed populations) to deliver nutritious meals to corporate clients. Their excellent execution on both the business and social aspects of their mission has led to strong brand loyalty that allows them to command a higher price for their chef-crafted meals.  

Montcalm Capital conducted due diligence on The Town Kitchen and determined that they were a strong fit for impact investment. Montcalm’s diligence revealed a strong social impact organization with a robust foundation to support future success. The company demonstrated a history of diversified revenue generation anchored by long-term relationships with large corporate clients and small local businesses. The company’s experienced leadership has a proven track record of successfully navigating adverse business conditions and continually expanding business operations, meal preparation and delivery infrastructure, and sales. And perhaps most importantly, their community-based socio-economic empowerment model fit Montcalm’s catalytic impact investment thesis.

Montcalm’s hybrid investment strategies to fund the execution of a new 7-figure contract includes: 

  • $100,000 mission-related investment from the Martin Foundation DAF
  • $250,000 loan from Mission Driven Finance
  • $75,000 recoverable grant from an anonymous foundation

These investments will allow The Town Kitchen to scale up its operations, purchase kitchen equipment, provide critical cash flow, and hire 17 employees.

“Opening up a donor-advised fund (DAF) at Montcalm allowed our family foundation to meet its annual distribution requirement before we had charities identified to support with grants. By recommending a mission-related investment in The Town Kitchen, we’re able to help empower vulnerable youth with job training and employment experience today,” explained Jessie Thompson, the executive director of the Martin Foundation. “Because it’s structured as an investment, it will grow the amount of money we can grant to charity down the road. It’s win-win-win!” 

“Mission Driven Finance exists to help worthwhile endeavors struggling to achieve scale. Our $250k loan enables The Town Kitchen to advance to the next level, securing not just one mega-contract, but supporting the capacity to bid on several more and continue hiring and training more young people. It’s a great example of deploying transformative capital to a multiple-bottom-line project that will generate meaningful returns for the youth they employ, the corporate clients they serve, and the investors who are supporting their expansion,” said David Lynn, CEO of Mission Driven Finance. 

One week into the Bay Area-wide shelter-in-place mandate, The Town Kitchen announced the launch of Town Kitchen Provisions in response to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be delivering food and household essentials directly to consumers ordered to shelter in place, to a combination of underserved and paying customers. The new program offers a rotating menu of sustainably packaged, ready-to-eat family meals crafted by award-winning chefs along with household essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels, and disinfectants. 

At a time when too many restaurants and small business are being forced to shut their doors, The Town Kitchen’s pivot has allowed them to do the following:

  • Retain 40 hourly employees. TTK is providing additional training through TTK University, which allows youth to upskill while earning money, as these jobs evolve to deliver prepared meals and household essentials through Town Kitchen Provisions. 
  • Deliver to over 50 households in at-risk communities during the first three days of program operations.
  • Retain 15+ minority and women-owned companies/ vendor relationships while adding access into residential channels (at a time when many are forced to cancel these contracts)

Impact metrics related to The Town Kitchen and their COVID-19 response will be tracked by Proof of Impact, a technology company committed to data tracking and verifying impact related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of the Combat COVID-19 program, Proof of Impact will measure and verify impact metrics including data tracking of the number of provision packages delivered to families in need, employment of workers with livable wages, and integration of women-owned businesses into the supply chain as part of their response to COVID-19. The verified impact results will be made available to investors and key stakeholders on a data dashboard that showcases the efforts of The Town Kitchen to support their community. 

“Montcalm has been building this ecosystem precisely to support the Town Kitchens of the world,” said David Cooper, Co-Founder of Montcalm Capital. “The Town Kitchen has proven to be incredibly nimble in meeting community needs during these early days of the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s the hybrid investments that we’ve facilitated that have enabled them to be in such a strong position during these uncertain times. We’re inspired by the way they execute on their mission every day.” 

As a Public Benefit Company, the jobs, living wages, career help, mentorship, and life-skills training we provide to the youth we employ are all essential to the way we deliver chef-crafted meals to our discerning clientele,” stated Eric Quick, CEO of The Town Kitchen. “Montcalm partnered with us at just the right moment to help us scale our successful business model by leveraging catalytic capital.”

Montcalm is helping The Town Kitchen raise an additional $500k this month

If you’re interested in empowering local youth by investing in an innovative, mission-driven company–potentially with tax-deductible charitable dollars, contact Alisa Tantraphol at alisatantraphol [at]

New Montcalm Offering: Donor-Advised Funds!


Montcalm Donor Fund

You can now open your own Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) through the Montcalm Donor Fund!

DAFs are the fastest-growing charitable vehicle in the country, and for good reason: DAFs are the most powerful vehicle in philanthropy today. There are half a million DAFs in the U.S., comprising $110 billion in assets earmarked for charity.

Think of a DAF as a charitable expense account. Some common scenarios under which you might benefit from opening up a DAF:

  1. You’ve had a tax event this year (your company went IPO, you sold your company, or you’re otherwise facing a large tax bill). A large charitable donation can reduce your tax liability now, while a DAF allows you to spread your charitable giving out over time to your charities of choice. In fact, there are no minimum giving or timeline requirements for charitable grants from a DAF, even though you get the full tax deduction immediately.
  2. You want to support charity without writing a check. In addition to cash, you can open up a DAF account with appreciated stocks, saving on capital gains taxes and increasing the amount that ultimately goes to charity. In fact, you can open up a DAF with anything that can be valued, including art, cars, real estate, bonds and even cryptocurrency.
  3. You’ve been thinking about starting up a private foundation, but you don’t want to deal with the legal and administrative burdens of setting one up and managing it. DAFs offer many of the same benefits of having a private foundation, but without the cumbersome administration process or expenses. And, you can open up a Montcalm DAF with a minimum gift of only $25,000.


With a Montcalm DAF, you can:

  1. Maximize your charitable impact. Through our sponsoring organization partner, SDG Impact Fund, you’ll be expertly advised on the most impactful NGOs anywhere in the world, accelerating progress towards achieving the UN’s 17 global SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Of course, if you already have your charities of choice identified, you can always make recommendations as to where to grant your DAF funds.
  2. Maximize your impact before you grant out the assets. Even before you start making grant recommendations, you can create immediate social value with your DAF assets. Montcalm will provide your DAF with exclusive access to impact investments in social enterprises addressing the world’s most pressing environmental and social problems, potentially growing the value of your DAF account so you can grant more money to charity in the future. As with every Montcalm offering, your options for investing assets will be values-aligned.


Interested in learning more? Contact Alisa Tantraphol, Head of Philanthropic Strategy, at info [at] montcalmdaf [dot] org. We’re excited to help you craft the charitable giving plan that’s perfect for you!


The Montcalm Donor Fund is a component of the SDG Impact Fund, (Tax ID# 46-2368538). The SDG Impact Fund, Inc, headquartered at 475 E. Main Street #154 Cartersville, GA 30121 is a public charity as described in the Internal Revenue Code Sections 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1), and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).  All money and property transferred to Montcalm Donor Fund shall be an irrevocable gift to the charity.

Donor Advised Funds Are Not FDIC Insured • Are Not Bank Guaranteed • May Lose Value.

Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, and investment manager for recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy.

Inspiring Woman Founders

Crystal Brown

Crystal Brown, CEO,

Montcalm believes in woman founders. Women are creating amazing and unique solutions that address global challenges and market needs. Yet, startup capital is not flowing fast enough to these founders. 2.2% of venture capital funding goes to women.

We are changing this by partnering with inspiring women to empower them to reach success. Montcalm has built a series of services to support effective capital raising and brings a robust ecosystem to ensure success.

We are proud to spotlight Crystal Brown, CEO and Founder of Healthiest, Montcalm’s inaugural woman founder and the first in a long pipeline of talented women we are partnering with. We love Crystal because of her spirit, her passion, and her persistence. She’s both visionary and strategic, and simultaneously independent and collaborative. She has an important idea and is out to change healthcare in a fundamental way.

Crystal Brown accidentally discovered herself as a community organizer and agent of systemic change.

When her first child was about to enter kindergarten, California implemented massive school budget cuts. Crystal knew kids were going to suffer. So she used her community volunteer connections and, together with six other women, founded “Educate Our State,” a grassroots education lobby that mobilized 1 million moms and dads to speak up for education.

From this experience, Crystal had two major takeaways:  one – she discovered she is a master organizer, and has the natural ability to mobilize people behind issues. Two – the real influence in government is held by businesses with a lot of money. She resolved to run a company that would have the clout to change legislation and policy.

Previously, Crystal had 12 years of experience in healthcare. She thoroughly understood the mismatch in incentives and where the best interests of patients were not being served. Crystal realized this was the issue area where her confluence of expertise and genius could have the most impact.

The vision for Healthiest was born, as an education and resources platform for natural healing. It would empower people to manage their own health, develop personalized treatment plans, and save expensive office visits for when they were really needed.

The question was, where to start? After extensive research and talking to numerous customers and investors, Crystal and her team settled on the Healthiest browser extension, which coaches consumers real-time as they shop and provides them with healthier alternatives to the products they are considering purchasing. Crystal’s research uncovered a huge and growing demographic of tech-savvy, globally-conscious consumers willing to pay more for healthier products, if only they had the right information at their fingertips. These customers are 100% enthusiastic about the modern tech solution Healthiest provides.

Crystal had met Holly Ruxin of Montcalm many years earlier. She had watched Holly leave Wall Street and launch her own private wealth management firm in 2012. One day at Blue Bottle Coffee, Holly outlined her vision for a different way of funding companies, where incentives are aligned, with transparency and collaboration. Crystal knew that this was a solution that was desperately needed.

Fast forward to 2019, after pivots and experiments by both Healthiest and Montcalm, the two women decided to collaborate. Montcalm had built a platform of capital raising services to work alongside founders to fund their dreams. Healthiest was ready.

The best part of working with Montcalm, Crystal says, is “having passionate, bright, experienced partners who care deeply and help me figure out how to move forward. I love the team, and their due diligence confirmed what I already knew but now gives us credibility with investors. It’s so helpful to have a home.”

“Initially, when I first started Healthiest, I didn’t want to identify myself as a woman founder. But I was wrong. No matter how strongly I present myself as a CEO like any other, the world sees me as a woman CEO. We women need to help each other and figure out models to scale that help.” In keeping with her genius for seeing solutions where others see obstacles, Crystal is feeling called to solve the problem of enabling women entrepreneurs to be successful. We at Montcalm are at her side.

Meanwhile, Healthiest continues rapid progress toward Crystal’s dream of a comprehensive natural healing platform. They are building the biggest existing database of products and ingredients. They are building their customer base. They are scoping other pieces of the solution in the ecosystem. Once Healthiest crosses their tipping point of revenue from their browser extension, they will be able to build the whole platform and change healthcare forever.

The world needs solutions from all kinds of people. We are changing the flow of capital to make sure important ideas make it into the marketplace. For more information, check out Montcalm Capital.

An Interview with Dave Cooper

Social Venture Circle sat down with Dave Cooper to talk about investment philosophy, investing in companies using debt instead of equity, and why VC Money is not the only funding available (contrary to popular belief). Read on to learn more from Dave about what other funding options are available for mission-driven companies.

The complete interview is here.


heart leadership

Authenticity and integrity, values which emanate from the heart, form the foundation of how I lead. This is quite different from the reigning value system in finance, created from a place where the head is dominant. When the head dominates, we tend to get a system based on maximization of profit with less consideration of the costs to individuals, society and the planet. When the heart leads, we get a holistic system where everyone prospers.

Many studies have demonstrated that human beings have three brains: the head, the heart and the gut. In Western civilization we focus on the head, because somewhere along the way we decided that was the most important. But actually our heart and gut are very smart brains, and when we follow them, we can be a lot more grounded in our decisions. I believe the head exists to serve the heart and gut. And this is exactly how I have built the businesses at Montcalm TCR, Montcalm Capital and Trevor TCR. I use my investment training to ensure my decisions are financially sound, but they are grounded in deep intuition.

I spent 20 years of my career on Wall Street leading from the head. I learned money leads, power leads and resume leads. And I was trained to be good at it.

When the markets declined in 2008 and my son become severely disabled, I began to deeply question both my own values and the values of the larger system. I certainly was never dishonest before, but I had been taught that money matters above all else. After personal exploration and asking many questions, what surfaced for me was a model of leadership that resonated for me and the birth of my own wealth management firm centered on the heart.

I opened Montcalm to give, not extract. We generate trust in financial systems because we are designed to be of service. I wanted to create something founded on a different set of values that would provide investors with diversified investment options, offer companies healthier sources of capital and regenerate our planet in the process.

On the wealth management side of my business, we engage with every client in a personalized way to understand their values and motivations and build investment portfolios that reflect their hearts and financial needs. On the capital side of my business, my cofounder and I co-create investment vehicles that serve a dual purpose as a customized capital source for each portfolio company and as a solid investment choice that balances risk, reward and accessibility for investors. And through our foundation, Trevor TCR, we invest in society through grants to organizations that meet the needs of the underserved. When you give, you connect to the flow of abundance.

My goal in finance is to reengineer the financial system to one where everyone leads from the heart. We can do that by empowering people with their money, moving them out of a mentality of fear and into abundance. That is what will really shift humanity. And at Montcalm, we are doing our part to lead by example.

Photo credit: Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash


In 2008, two significant events changed the course of my life. Capital markets, where I worked for 20 years, started falling apart – and my five-year-old son stopped talking and walking.

I have loved capital markets since my first internship on a currency trading desk in London, which led me to become a fixed income derivatives sales trader at Goldman Sachs. When the markets fell apart in 2008, my experience in capital markets helped me to understand that we were on a financial precipice. The financial system was in fact a house of cards and it was coming down due to many poor decisions that were mostly predicated on money and power.

Read more here.


Read as David Cooper describes the personal and financial journey that led him to partner with Holly Ruxin and co-found Montcalm Capital:

Growing up, I didn’t have a lot. My mom was a teen when she gave birth to me and had not yet finished high school. My youth was spent largely on my own as a latchkey kid since my young, single mom was always working to support us. I’ve always had to be resourceful from a young age in everything I did, like working nights and weekends to put myself through college. The scrappiness and sense of responsibility that pervaded my youth is intimately connected to what I later discovered was my life’s purpose: getting capital into the hands of impactful companies, often overlooked by mainstream investors, in order to shift the status quo to build a better world. I’m passionate about moving the world from an old economy model, based on extraction, power and self-interest to a new one where the core values are well-being and abundance for all.

Read more here.

The Sustainable Finance Podcast: Introducing the Montcalm Capital Fund

We are delighted to present Holly’s most recent podcast introducing Montcalm Capital and the launch of its first fund.

“Montcalm Capital introduces an investment that provides regenerative environmental impact and building blocks for a circular economy. We are building a new socio-economic model: how society interacts with capital flow can allow us to get resources to amazing companies doing amazing work.”

Listen as Holly discusses the global financial movement that Montcalm is building and explains Montcalm Capital’s new role at the forefront of financial innovation.

Interview with SCN Corporate Connect

Holly talks sustainable investing with Gregg Greenberg of Small Cap Nation.

Terri Mead podcast “Piloting Your Life”

Episode 45 – Holly Ruxin explains her journey to creating a wealth management company that invests in alignment with values.