Our SUMANI team had the opportunity to work with the venture capital arm of Closed Loop Partners, Closed Loop Ventures Group (CLVG). Closed Loop Partners is a NYC-based investment firm focused on building the circular economy with a slew of funds: growth equity, private equity, project finance, and where we come in, venture capital. CLVG is interested in tapping into the ‘Circular Home’ space and asked us to develop a comprehensive investment thesis that incorporates the merits and risks of investing in this space.

Specifically, the clients wanted us to extract consumer insight from Gen-Z’s, a lesser studied and target demographic in home circularity. We started by designing a survey that captures their current behaviors and perceptions, as well as their willingness to contribute to the circular economy from their homes. Initially, we sent out the survey within our personal network and received some feedback. In order to gain more traction and capture a wider audience, we deployed our survey through Facebook and Instagram ads. After analyzing preliminary survey data, we decided to hold focus groups out of the survey respondents to add more color to our findings. It made our jobs a lot easier that our focus group slots filled so quickly with enthusiastic and willing participants. From the data we gathered, we were able to gauge a level of interest from Gen-Z’s to contribute to the circular economy and develop a heat map of prospective startups to invest in. 

A challenge we faced during our project was the lack of initial interest to fill out our survey. We found that the survey was too long and no real incentive to complete it. Based on this feedback, we refined our survey to take about 10 minutes to complete and added gift card prizes to incentivize people to take it. Although we were able to generate more interest around our survey, we also found it difficult to reach a more diverse sample size in the US. As a result, most of our data was collected from major metropolitan cities. However, we were still able to extract actionable insight as these are the consumers that CLVG is targetting. We are confident that the consumer insight report and thesis we delivered will be valuable in making investment decisions moving forward.

From this project, we were able to get hands-on experience of the due diligence process to source prospective investments. We also learned to leverage our network and resources in order to accelerate our deliverables. 

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