A Vision For Change
Strategic Impact Investing
Scott Plank Ventures starts-up and invests in companies that generate “triple bottom line” investment returns measured by economic, social, and environmental benefits that strengthen communities. We work with entrepreneurs and teammates who share our values of listening, service, and activism. We execute our mission by offering leadership, financing, mentorship, infrastructure, and our network.
Scott Plank is thoughtful about where to invest, and with whom he wants to invest. He is focused exclusively on the mission of the company, the potential social and economic impact to the industry, on building a personal relationship with the founder and executive team, and mutually shared values of building economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable businesses.
Philanthropy is a key focus for Scott and his family. Making an impact on communities and those in need is tied directly into all of his business thinking. Scott & Dana’s Family Foundation with their three children, the Plank DiCarlo Family Foundation, and War Horse Cities not-for-profit arm, the Community Development Corporation (CDC), have donated over $20 million since 2012. From designing and improving Baltimore City public schools and various education initiatives, creating and activating community spaces and uniquely transforming police stations into collaborative community amenities, Scott partners with the city, Baltimore City Public schools and diverse non-profits to change lives and impact families and communities.
Impact Investor & SUPPORTER OF INNOVATION
Scott Plank's life and work center around pursuing his passion for exploring how built environments can magnify our lives and relationships. His love and curiosity for community building was fueled by his many early experiences in life from building homes in Florida, to designing communities at the University of Maryland.
His passion for innovation in all areas of his life is now evident through his investment in local and national businesses and non-profits whose work is changing the way we see and interact with objects in our everyday life. His investments of time and resources provide these organizations with the opportunity to increase both their reach and their impact. Read more below about how his passions developed and how they are manifested today.
Scott's Passions Today
The Early Years
Beginning in high school and through college, Scott learned on-the-job to be a competent carpenter. Scott then traveled the world, experiencing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginnings of entrepreneurship while running a small business in Guatemala. Upon returning to the United States two years later, Scott resumed his construction work in the D.C. area. In the summer of 1992, when Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida, Scott saw both an opportunity and a responsibility to help, packed his construction and Spanish language tools into his Subaru, formed a company with his brothers, and moved to Miami for a year renovating homes within the Latin community.
Almost a decade of street-level design-build work inspired Scott’s curiosity to learn more about the forces swirling above our communities and impacting our cities, which prompted him to return home and pursue a business degree from American University. In 1995, he took a job at Freddie Mac Multifamily as an Asset Manager for some of the most neglected and mismanaged neighborhoods in America. Upon completion of his MBA, Scott became an originator where as he underwrote hundreds of millions of dollars of new financing for low to moderate-income apartments.
The Under Armour Years
In 1996, Scott’s brother, Kevin, began making stretchy t-shirts for his football teammates at the University of Maryland. Scott’s small business experience and financing skills came in handy and he began to support his brother’s startup, investing $12,500 in 1997 for approximately 15% of the company. The moonlighting was paying off and in early 2000, Scott joined Under Armour full-time. Scott built key pieces of the company and, over the next 15 years, Scott became responsible for half of Under Armour’s employees, its e-commerce strategy and a robust retail platform of 100+ stores and two million square feet of real estate. He also orchestrated the company’s expansion into China and oversaw operations that generated half of its profits from a third of its revenue. By 2012, Scott was leading new business development which included about half of Under Armour’s employees and over 2 million square feet in the design development of the Under Armour campus, regional headquarters and distribution centers. In all, Scott drove about one-third of the $1.8 billion in revenue through e-commerce.
The War Horse Years
Scott then decided to pursue his passion for building places and communities full time. In 2012, Scott left Under Armour to start War Horse Cities. Through his company, Scott curates a diverse range of projects, including a portfolio and pipeline of over 850 apartments, 80,000 square feet of office, 150,000 square feet of retail, philanthropic public service programs, often in overlooked or forgotten communities. War Horse’s diverse portfolio today includes apartments, marinas, a hotel, office buildings, retail and entertainment venues in San Francisco and Maryland. The company acquired the beloved but neglected open-floor food market, Belvedere Square, and replicated across Baltimore and other cities. At The University of Maryland, War Horse Cities co-developed and financed The Hall CP, a community-centric built environment that allows artists and entrepreneurs to collaborate and celebrate. This multi-purpose space includes a restaurant, a music venue and shared work/community space. It brings new life to what was an underutilized lot and provides a space for the community to gather and grow together!
War Horse’s angel impact investing includes real estate crowdfunding company Fundrise as well as digital education leader EverFi. Plank invested in EverFi with a friend, founder and CEO, ultimately contributing $4 million between 2012 and 2017. Scott invested in co-working giant WeWork alongside a partner, putting $1.5 million towards tenant improvement of their second building. Plank also bought a building in San Francisco alongside the founders of WeWork and personally invested $2.6 million.
Where intrigue and interests overlap
Scott has many varied interests which both influence and are influenced by his work and investments. Learn more about Scott's passions below!