Phyl Georgiou (TC 2003) is an entrepreneur who has turned his attention to sustainable investing.
Phyl’s name has appeared in Trinity publications before, including in the 2005 edition of Trinity Today when he was named one of the world’s most promising future leaders by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and in 2006 for winning the Student of the Year and Rotary Young Achiever awards.
It’s no surprise that he has continued achieving since then.
After leaving Trinity, Phyl studied at Harvard Business School. As part of an entrepreneurship class, he came up with the idea of creating tactile pieces that would interact with touch screens as a form of child’s play, given the iPad was fast gaining popularity and was impacting the development of toddlers. He took a prototype to the New York Toy Fair in February 2013 and by August of the same year the product was being sold in more than 20 countries. Phyl continued to grow the company, Tiggly, with two co-founders after he graduated. They went on to sell 200,000 toys and raised more than $6 million from investors.
Despite the company’s success, Phyl had always had an interest in emerging markets, so returned to private investment firm LeapFrog, where he’d done a one-year fellowship in 2009. As Head of Strategy, Phyl is now tasked with unlocking the capital markets for high-growth, purpose-driven businesses.
LeapFrog’s investments have facilitated the delivery of essential products like insurance and healthcare to more than 150 million low-income consumers in Africa and Asia. Phyl says this taps into a strong movement towards sustainable investing, given investors increasingly want their money to build a better future for the world, rather than support companies whose values they disagree with.
‘Our profit-with-purpose mantra is that there is no trade-off between strong financial returns and delivering high quality impactful products that change people’s lives,’ says Phyl.
This article first appeared in issue 88 of Trinity Today.