Using finance as a tool for social change
Leveraging each investment for good
Aardvark is an early stage medical device company focused on sinus and nasal health, founded by Oakland emergency room pediatricians.
I invested in Aardvark because I knew the entrepreneur and his work at Oakland Children's Hospital. I like that the team is introducing new and safe respiratory strategies for use with young children that will help keep families out of the ER, lowering their stress and medical bills, as well as increasing health.
Bay Area Medical Academy
Bay Area Medical Academy provides job-oriented training in high-growth, high-demand areas of the healthcare field, fulfilling the workforce needs of the medical facilities in the Bay Area. BAMA prepares individuals (predominantly women) from different socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds for successful, long-term careers in the field.
When I first met Simonida, I was thoroughly impressed with her mission to educate and help find employment for some of the Bay Area’s least advantaged women. I was blown away by the care and the professionalism with which she treats each of her students, as well as her dedication to building relationships with large hospitals and care centers. As an immigrant woman herself, Simonida has had many barriers to overcome and at the same time is effectively helping other women succeed.
Better Ventures is a venture fund for technology startups building innovative solutions to big and important problems, from work and education to health and sustainability. Wes and Rick are currently pursuing opportunities in three investment themes:
Better Access - Companies leveraging technology to democratize access to essential services that equalize opportunity, including education and employment;
Better Information - Companies utilizing data analytics to produce positive societal outcomes, ranging from health & well-being to environmental sustainability;
Better Business - Companies building sustainable and ethical supply chains, including product re-use & up-cycling and sustainable production.
I met Wes when I first got involved with the HUB in 2010. I wanted to support his efforts and his fund of innovative tech startups.
Impact America Fund
Impact America Fund is a GIIRS rated private equity fund led by Kesha Cash. Its mission is to generate financial returns while enhancing the quality of life for underserved communities in America. IAF invests in high growth companies that are scaling solutions in the Health & Wellness, Education, Essential Services, and Financial Inclusion sectors. Equity. [Health] [Underserved Communities] [Education]
Kubé Nice Cream is a local artisan-food-producer of raw, plant based, hand-crafted, coconut cream "nice cream" in the Bay Area, California. The standard international pasteurization process of coconut cream and milk uses a toxic preservative and bleaching chemical called sodium metabisulfite. Kubé is the emerging leader in harnessing the power of raw, unpasteurized coconut cream. Kubé believes that real, fresh and healthy foods, without chemicals, support healthier outcomes for all people and for the earth.
Nia Global Solutions
Nia Global Solutions brings the concept of Impact Investing to public markets, offering investors a managed portfolio of publicly traded stocks that harness the innovative social purposes of capitalism. The portfolio is carefully constructed of companies that create meaningful outcomes, not only for its investors, but for people and the planet too.
I was drawn to create Nia Global Solutions as a way to bring conscious investing to the public markets. At Nia we engage in a very careful due diligence process looking at solution-driven products, run by diverse management teams. We are unique in that we bring activism into the public markets by engaging with both our chosen companies as well as those who do not make our buy list for the portfolio. NGS will also donate a percentage of profits to thsoe non-profit organizations who are working on issues of corporate accountability.
Safer Made is a venture fund investing in companies and technologies that create safer products for people and the natural world. The start-up companies they invest in remove or reduce the use of harmful chemicals in products and manufacturing processes. The results are healthier people, cleaner waters, and more nourishing soils.
Weal Life uses technology to make it easier to care for one another, especially during a health crisis, aging or chronic illness. Weal Life crowdsources your care from people you know so you can heal and thrive.
It leverages mobile technology to capture value from underutilized capacities of family, friends, neighbors and others who help streamline life logistics such as transportation, meals, errands or shopping for medical supplies.