Image courtesy of Bridges to Prosperity
By Christine Stoner, Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation and Jean Shia, Managing Director, Impact Investment and Management, Autodesk Foundation
At a time when humanity is reeling—from the pandemic and its aftershocks to the scorching effects of climate change —we find reason to hope in the vision, tenacity, and innovation of the nonprofits and startups supported by the Autodesk Foundation.
Capital provided from Autodesk to the Autodesk Foundation provides early-stage, risk-tolerant and flexible funding along with capacity-building in-kind support to innovations with the potential to transform industries.
Last year the Autodesk Foundation continued investing financial capital, technology, and talent resources across our portfolio of nonprofits and startups. We also saw promising results across our three areas of focus: energy and materials, health and resilience, and work and prosperity. The nonprofits and startups we fund have forged solutions to our most pressing social and environmental challenges – leading the charge in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving resilience in communities most vulnerable to climate change, and preparing workers to thrive in an era of automation. Our capital is sparking industries to transition to more sustainable, resilient, and equitable ways of doing business. In this, our first Autodesk Foundation impact report, we share their stories and the measurable results of their work.
Consider construction startup BamCore, which is transforming the market for low-carbon building systems by creating the world’s first global supply chain of prefabricated timber bamboo wall systems. By leaning into the Autodesk Foundation’s comprehensive support, BamCore has tripled its fabrication rate, reduced installation time by 50%, and raised $15 million in just two years’ time.
For Bridges to Prosperity, a rural communities-focused nonprofit, we provided a working capital loan to equip them with the upfront resources they needed to keep scaling bridge construction in Uganda during the pandemic. This infusion of flexible funding allowed Bridges to Prosperity to overcome disrupted cash flow and build a track record of repayment to position them to tap into larger levels of investment as they grow.
Finally, the Autodesk Foundation’s support of these and other organizations is leading to measurable impact. In fiscal year 2022, the Autodesk Foundation’s global portfolio mitigated 1.4 million metric tons of CO2e emissions. The portfolio reached more than 29 million people with resilient solutions in housing and infrastructure, energy access, agricultural productivity, and workforce development. Portfolio organizations placed nearly 14,900+ people in new or improved jobs, including ~90% (13,400) workers with a $5,000 annual increase in income.
These are substantial successes, and we’re excited to invite you to learn more about how we define and measure impact through the work of our portfolio organizations rising to meet the social and environmental challenges we face across the world. Truly tackling these challenges will require a journey of successes and failures from innovators who are relentless in their pursuit of impact. We are honored to play a role as the Foundation leadership team in supporting that journey.
Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation
Managing Director, Impact Investment and Management, Autodesk Foundation