Philanthropic venture capital (PhVC), like traditional venture capital (TVC), provides funding and value added services to its portfolio ventures, but unlike TVC, these investees typically have a social mission. PhVC has a main ethical dimension and aims at maximizing the social return on the investment. This paper examines nascent PhVC firms and, in particular, focuses on its human capital (HC), offering a comparative analysis with nascent TVC firms. Results show that both at a general and at a specific HC level, PhVC firms are different from TVC firms. With respect to general HC, PhVC firms tend to exhibit lower levels of education at the BS and MBA levels but a higher number of graduate technical degrees, suggesting the existence of a substitution effect in education. At the specific HC level, PhVC firms exhibit lower experience than TVC firms, except for governmental, and non/profit experience; differences at firm level between commercial and social specific HC hold significant.