NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It seems like ages ago that nascent start-ups like Facebook (FB - Get Report) and LinkedIn (LNKD - Get Report) were reinventing how billions of people around the globe would stay both socially and professionally connected.
Fast forward to today and we're witnessing the progressive unfolding of one of the most democratic ways for individuals and start-ups to fund their ideas and enterprises. This is a revolutionary movement with remarkable possibilities.
It's called "crowdfunding" and it now includes a company that has taken the concept to a new level. GATE Impact Investing is reaching out to socially conscious investors who want to participate in the financial success of companies that benefit humanity and the well-being of the world around us.
I spoke with GATE CEO Vince Molinari, before his two-day summit at the United Nations in New York (more on that later), and learned that this is no typical crowdfunding venture. GATE has created both a system and a trading platform for "investors who want their investments to make a positive difference" as the CEO described it.Molinari says GATE Global Impact "is an impact-investing focused, electronic, regulatory-compliant marketplace that provides market infrastructure and related services for the emerging impact-investment industry." It's all about making a positive financial "impact" in the world's many markets. This new industry, he says, involves "public and private investments with a sustainable social and/or environmental component that also may generate a healthy rate of financial return. All securities are offered through GATE US LLC," a New York-based broker dealer. Having cut his teeth in the world of financial services and capital formation, Vince Molinari and his partners wanted to create a technology-based trading platform, that as he described it, "enables access to new funding sources from across society and enterprises that offer innovative solutions to global challenges, will be able to connect capital to social impact and environment-related projects." Molinari and GATE's approach to raising funds is "based on a new ecosystem and financial integrity. I asked him what he meant by "financial integrity."