NYCEDC Executive Committee Approves First Two NYC Catalyst Fund Investments: Harlem Capital And Maycomb

May 2, 2024

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced its Executive Committee has approved the NYC Catalyst Fund’s (NYCCF) first two proposed investments.

The committee authorized commitments of up to $4 million to Harlem Capital and up to $7 million to Maycomb Capital. Both fund managers are headquartered in New York City and have missions that align with the NYCCF’s impact and financial objectives.

“Congratulations to NYCEDC for launching the NYC Catalyst Fund and on reaching this tremendous milestone, the first two investments in Harlem Capital and Maycomb Capital,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “These two firms, and this $40M fund, will deploy capital to support high-impact entrepreneurs, generate both social and financial returns and prove the point that it is always good business to invest in New York City.”

Harlem Capital and Maycomb Capital embody the type of impact aligned firms that the NYC Catalyst Fund was created to support,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “When NYCEDC launched the NYC Catalyst Fund in September, our goal was to utilize financing to create a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. Today’s vote brings us a step closer to enabling investments aligned with the NYC Catalyst Fund’s mission of funding diverse entrepreneurs, strengthening communities, and advancing economic mobility.” 

In September 2023, NYCEDC launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the NYCCF to solicit responses from fund managers whose core financial and impact objectives align with NYCEDC’s priorities. The RFP is still soliciting responses monthly through March 2025, or until monies are depleted.

The NYC Catalyst Fund is an impact investing program that has been initially capitalized by $40 million. The goal of the program is to expand NYCEDC’s impact as an organization by making investments that generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact as well as a financial return. With the initial allocation, NYCEDC plans to invest in approximately eight to twelve private credit and private equity funds managed by external fund managers with investments ranging from $1 million to $7 million each. The NYCCF is focused on the following impact areas: inclusive entrepreneurship, community development, and high-wage, high-growth sectors such as life sciences, technology, offshore wind, and the green economy. 

Harlem Capital and Maycomb Capital were selected from a variety of competitive responses based on their impressive leadership teams, investment experience, New York City presence, and commitment to investing in areas aligned with the core impact goals of the NYC Catalyst Fund.


Harlem Capital: Founded in 2015, Harlem Capital is a diversity-focused venture capital firm based in New York City that invests in companies led by diverse founders. Harlem Capital has an impact-oriented mission: to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over 20 years. The firm has $174 million in assets under management and has invested in over 60 companies and 75 diverse founders across its first two funds.

Maycomb Capital: Founded in 2017, Maycomb Capital is a women-owned investment firm headquartered in Brooklyn. The firm currently has $139.5 million in assets under management across its impact debt strategies. Through outcomes financing, also referred to as “pay for success” or “social impact bonds,” Maycomb provides flexible, mission-aligned debt to seek to enable government and other entities to realign funding with evidence-based solutions to social challenges. Maycomb’s impact debt strategies focus on investments that are designed to increase economic opportunity for low-income communities, across three impact areas of early childhood, workforce development, and health equity.

The NYCCF comes at a critical time of inequity within the industry. According to NYCEDC’s Report, “Diversity in Venture Capital: Challenges and Opportunities for New York City”, which examines the state of diversity in New York City compared to other venture hubs and national estimates, in 2022, 2.9 percent of all venture funding invested in New York City companies went to Black entrepreneurs and 2.9 percent went to Latinx entrepreneurs. The NYC Catalyst Fund will promote greater inclusivity in the industry while also providing significant economic development opportunities. The report was released with the launch of the Venture Access Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 New York City startup investors whose goal and mission is to continue to increase diversity in the city’s tech and venture ecosystem.

NYCEDC will finalize negotiations with each fund manager and enter into relevant agreements to formalize the commitments.

NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity; build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city’s future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit https://edc.nyc/



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