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Women and minorities control only 1.4% of the more than $82 billion in assets managed by the US asset management industry. But according to McKinsey’s 2019 study, companies with the highest levels of racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to earn above-average returns compared to more diverse industry peers. The Material Change Institute aims to balance the scales. Through a year-long fellowship program, the nonprofit organization empowers underrepresented investors to reach decision-making positions and gain greater influence in the asset management industry.

Eve Blossom, founder of the center, says, “Through Change of Values, each person receives personalized information on how to increase their ability in the investment process. We are very proud of the growth we have seen in our partners and look forward to expanding our overall program and our strategic partnerships.”

Ten people participated in the first class of the Material Change Institute’s year-long management training program in 2021. Here are the four trailblazers who will be partners in this year’s program, which starts in October 2022.

1. Hagit Alon

Hagit Alon specializes in the health-tech space. As chief scientist at Joy Ventures, he brings a broad scientific background to the Changing Things program and its investment objectives. He holds a PhD in computational biology from the Sackler Medical School at Tel Aviv University, and two master’s degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

At Joy Ventures, Alon was responsible for evaluating the technical and scientific side of potential portfolio companies, even helping to design proof-of-concept trials. His passion lies in the intersections of biology and health, technology and innovation. She currently prioritizes supporting and creating businesses that focus on women’s access to healthcare, regardless of their stage in life.

When asked why he decided to join the second Material Change class, Alon shared, “The Material Change program, mission and values ​​really stood out to me. As a fem-tech entrepreneur, I love how this program is designed so that anyone on their investor journey can get comprehensive training on how to start and grow in investing in any industry. ”

2. Spectra Remains

Spectra AI remains a global powerhouse with nearly two decades of leading product, go-to-market, and expansion strategies for technology startups and social impact businesses. Founder of Momentum Tech Leaders, a career and leadership accelerator for underrepresented tech talent, and Project Lela, a nonprofit that connects people experiencing workplace challenges with affordable advocates, Asala is also the advisor-in-residence at Techstars in Boston . and DC

Asala’s journey in angel investing led them to establish B-Side Ventures, a pre-seed angel fund, to complement their passion for funding machine-driven companies. When asked about the Priority Change program, Asala said, “I found Eve Blossom’s mission to empower investors from historically excluded backgrounds with education and networks to leverage investment promotion and leverage. I truly believe that the next unicorns will be social enterprises. I know that with the Material Change program, I will be better equipped to support the founders and companies I believe in, and in a way that is consistent with my values.”

3. Anna Raptis

Anna Raptis is the founder and managing partner of Amplifica Capital, the first VC fund focused on women in Mexico. He invests in emerging companies in Mexico and Latin America where technology is driving sustainable growth. With a change of priorities, Raptis is interested in expanding his knowledge and connections with natural areas outside of Latin America. Her aim is to show that investing in women and diverse groups can make a huge social, environmental and financial return.

Raptis is also a founding member and former president of Mujeres Invirtiendo, an organization that supports and increases the participation of women in private capital in Mexico, and an investor with 500 Startups. He has more than 15 years of experience working in international energy projects, including seven years in leadership positions in Mexico.

4. Christy Fernandez-Cull

Christy Fernandez-Cull received her MS and PhD in engineering from Duke University and her MBA from MIT. CEO and founder of DaVinci Wearables, he also serves as a scientific advisor to numerous VCs and startups in the areas of sensors and systems for applications in mobility and autonomous vehicles. She is passionate about investing in, supporting and expanding access to investment in underrepresented communities, and enjoys training and recruiting in STEM/STEAM.

Previously, Fernandez-Cull led teams in hearing and vision systems at Waymo (formerly Google Self-Driving) and Lyft. Prior to that, he was an expert at Apple on autonomous systems. Through the Material Change Fellowship, he looks forward to investing in and inspiring first-generation entrepreneurs and dreamers.

Applications for the third class of the Material Change Institute are open and you can apply today, with a deadline of early 2023.

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