Mindset Social Innovation Foundation was founded by Alison Lawton in 2006. Alison began her career in private equity sales in the areas of syndicated software, film, television, and real estate. She was also one of three founding partners of ideaPARK, a leading technology business incubator that was listed on the TSX in 2000. She was an early investor in a diverse range of companies that are now global brands such as YYoga and Vision Critical. Alison continues to focus on developing and growing early-stage companies through her private equity investment firm Mindset Venture Group Ltd, which holds a diverse investment portfolio that includes technology, consumer businesses start-ups, and real estate.
As a social venture philanthropist, Alison focused Mindset Foundation’s work around global health challenges and scaling social enterprises. She has been involved with a wide range of organizations including Virgin Unite, The Clinton Foundation, Dispensary of Hope, and UNICEF Canada. Alison is the producer of the award-winning documentary Uganda Rising, and established the International Reporting Program at the University of British Columbia, giving journalism graduate students the opportunity to report on under-covered global issues.
Alison was an early investor in the Acumen Fund, one of the first impact investment funds in the US, and she partnered with Virgin Unite to launch the MaRS Catalyst Fund, managed by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (MCII). She is also on the board, as well as an investor, of the Community Hypertension Prevention Initiative, Canada's first health-related social impact bond created by Heart & Stroke, in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and MCII.