Aardvark is an early stage medical device company focused on sinus and nasal health. They also are developing a device for accurate, quick and easy flu testing, which we all can see being a game changer for home, schools, and airports. The founder is an Oakland emergency room pediatrician.
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.
Awaken Cafe is becoming an institution in Oakland. At its core, an espresso bar, organic cafe, performance & event space, live music venue and art gallery in the heart of the new downtown, with the mission of bringing people together to launch movements. Social movements often start at a table over a shared meal. Awaken serves as a nurturing meeting spot for entrepreneurs, artists and change makers all coming together to share ideas and strategies for revitalizing our Oakland neighborhoods. I like that Awaken is committed to local, organic and community, and honestly, it’s fun to be an investor in an awesome local gathering spot!
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.
The Boston Impact Initiative invests in enterprises throughout Eastern Massachusetts that address the growing wealth gap and ecological challenges of our times. They believe that there won’t be any change in the fundamental conditions that contribute to persistent poverty and injustice until and unless we create the opportunity for people to own and control their future. Their ambition is to build a model that other investors can contribute to in Boston, as well as to share their learning with communities elsewhere.
CEC is developing innovative financing tools and entity structuring that help preserve mission and goals for new companies raising money. Nia's investment supports CEC to develop software that will bring down the cost and streamline the process of direct public offerings for small and medium sized businesses, allowing them to grow with mission intact.
I love Jenny and her women led team at CEC. I love that they are right here in Oakland, working with our local businesses to build and expand this space of conscious investing by developing the software and legal infrastructure needed to raise smaller increments of capital from a broader range of investors.
The HIVE is a real estate investment in the northern Uptown area of Oakland. A block that for years has housed closed and boarded up car dealerships, is now being transformed to include new community-oriented businesses and restaurants for a thriving Oakland.
I am excited to be a part of this revitalization of Oakland, the bringing together of socially-minded businesses all on the same block, creating and extending community as we go. I am the only female investor and the only investor currently advocating for mixed income housing on the block. Stay tuned.
Hub Cities is providing support to this social change incubation movement nationwide. We love that Impact Hubs are growing, sprouting up and are building a nationwide, and worldwide community of folks concerned about and working toward solutions to our world's greatest problems.
A physical space where community leaders and social entrepreneurs can join together, cross pollinate, bloom and thrive—creating an ecosystem that is bio-diverse, multicultural, and uniquely Oakland.
Hub Oakland is the first Hub to be founded by women and entrepreneurs of color. We are taking the Hub concept of supporting entrepreneurs working to move our city and our world forward to the next level. Beyond a beautiful shared workspace and event space, is a thriving community of change makers.
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.
I met Kesha and was delighted to have found an entrepreneur that shared my passions about making impact investments in sectors and with communities that need it most. She is addressing racial and social equity issues through the businesses in which she invests.
KETOS is on a mission to enhance global health through clean, healthful drinking water. KETOS provides the tools and insights needed to optimize water usage, ensure resource efficiency and provide water safety assurance, while making these tools affordable and accessible.
Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
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.
As the 1st Pasifika Worker-Owned Cooperative in the United States, the Lei Company Cooperative provides a year round and environmentally conscious avenue to purchase lei for a variety of occasions while evolving the craft of lei making and lei makers, and providing business ownership opportunities, training and employment to the Pasifika- melanesian, micronesian and polynesian community.
Located in Old Oakland and launched in 2012, Miss Ollie's is an Afro-Caribbean restaurant owned by an amazing woman of color, Sarah Kirnon, who has years of experience and is well-known in the Bay Area food scene.
PCM will be a small-format, full-service neighborhood food store, health resource center and community hub that supports West Oakland families to attain healthier and more socially connected lives.
Many areas of Oakland are "food deserts," where fresh, healthy food is difficult to access. People's Community Market is changing this landscape. What I particularly like about this business is that they are involving the local community as investors starting at $2,000, so that a wide variety of folks can invest in their own community.
Red Bay Coffee is building a global community through their commitment to sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best and most beautiful coffee to the people. They focus on creating opportunities within the community at large while fostering single origin, fair trade, direct trade, organic and sustainable coffees. They believe in the creation of a value chain emphasizing ethics and diversity, not just a supply and demand chain. They envision a world in which coffee is a vehicle for inclusion, social and economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, innovation, and environmental sustainability.
Spotlight:Girls is an Oakland, CA-based benefit corporation that celebrates and activates girls and women through multi-media learning experiences such as summer camps, after-school programs, educational products, and events.