Mission and Team

We believe that by changing where capital is invested, we can shift the structures of power to benefit more people.
Theory of Change
Our Mission
We see investment as a mechanism for societal change.

Redirect capital:

We invest in progressive startups.

Spark civic engagement + Change culture + Build movements

This applies leverage at three critical points, creating momentum.

Shift power:

Smaller actions become great shifts, driving long-term political impact.

A Flexible Fund
We've designed a fund structure that allows us to invest flexibly across startups — for profit and nonprofit, mission-driven and political — for the greatest impact.
Action Fund
A 501c4 that enables us to support political action startups.
Education Fund
A 501c3 that enables us to provide entrepreneur support, engage the community, and provide thought leadership.
  • Educational programs
  • Entrepreneur support
  • Operations
  • Examples – NMV Summit , Tools for Change
Innovation Fund
A 501c3 fund managed by Impact Assets that enables us to make grants to c3 nonprofits as well as early-stage investments in mission-driven, for-profit companies. Return on these investments helps to sustain our work over time.
  • Mission-driven investing (for-profits)
  • Nonprofit grantmaking (c3)
  • Deal-flow to Investor Network
  • ExamplesBlavity , Vote.org
Investor Network
We invite our network to invest alongside us. By sharing deal-flow and diligence, we give individual and institutional investors the ability to make informed, strategic and impactful decisions.
# Team
photo of Christie George

Christie George,

President

As President of NMV, Christie has overseen a portfolio of more than 70 nonprofits and for-profits, including Indivisible, SumOfUs, and Upworthy. Christie’s work centers on fostering an independent, vibrant, and diverse media sector. She has spent her career supporting individuals and institutions that are making media that matters — from independent filmmakers documenting powerful stories to social entrepreneurs disrupting the way media is created, distributed and promoted.

Christie started her career at a venture capital firm, spent six years managing sales and marketing for Women Make Movies, the world’s leading distributor of films by and about women, and is a co-founder of Louder, the crowd-promotion platform for ideas that matter. She serves on the boards of Indivisible, Media Impact Funders, and the Roosevelt Institute.

Christie holds a BA from Yale University and a MBA with distinction from the University of Oxford, where she was a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship and graduated with the Said Prize, awarded annually to the program’s top student. She lives in Oakland and is a proud co-owner of the Rio Theater in Monte Rio, CA.

photo of Shannon Baker

Shannon Baker,

Vice President of Programs and Partnerships

As the Vice President of Programs and Partnerships at New Media Ventures, Shannon is responsible for spearheading the organization’s thought leadership and learning work, attracting new investors to the Innovation Fund, and sharing the good news about NMV and its portfolio organizations.

Shannon leverages story-telling, strategy, and organizational development to help mission-driven organizations grow. Her deep and diverse fundraising and communications experience – including running grassroots campaigns with the State PIRGs and securing major gifts at Stanford Law School, The Nature Conservancy, and Citizen Engagement Lab – allows her to design and execute winning programs and campaigns. And as the host of the annual NMV Summit, Shannon brings together leading innovators, thought leaders, investors, and donors to learn from one another and move the field of progressive innovation forward.

Shannon has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from University of Michigan, where she focused on strategy and social innovation. When not at work, she enjoys travel and photography, Oakland’s best eats and treats, and walking her rescue pup Hamilton.

photo of Julie Menter

Julie Menter,

Managing Director

As Managing Director of NMV, Julie has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and Civicist and featured on the main stage at the Personal Democracy Forum, for her work to support startups responding to the political moment in the US.

Throughout her career, Julie has searched for opportunities to make a positive impact on the world around her. As a strategy consultant, first with the Boston Consulting Group and then with Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, she has worked with large companies and non-profit organizations to redefine what good business means.

Julie is also a co-founder of the GreenerMind Summit: a 3-day retreat for change makers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

She is originally from France where she received her MBA.

photo of Alex Blum

Alex Blum,

Fundraising & Communications Associate

As Fundraising & Communications Associate, Alex is responsible for coordinating grant proposals and reports, facilitating NMV’s interactions with its network and the public, and supporting the NMV leadership team.

Alex joins from Grassroots Campaigns, where he fundraised for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Southern Poverty Law Center, and other progressive nonprofits. Previously, he wrote freelance book reviews and worked in Publicity and Online Marketing at Yale University Press.

Alex earned a BA in English from Yale University and originally hails from San Diego, CA. Outside of work, he loves running, surfing, and reading and writing fiction.

photo of Wes Panek

Wes Panek,

Investment Manager

As an Investment Manager, Wes is responsible for leading due diligence and deal execution, building pipeline, and supporting NMV's for-profit and nonprofit portfolio.


Wes joins from the Global Development Incubator, where he helped domestic and international startups and social enterprises think through capital raises, growth plans, and ways to partner to scale their impact. Previously, he was trained as a strategy consultant at Monitor Deloitte where he worked with a variety of public, private, and nonprofit clients, focused on market entry strategy and data analytics.

Wes earned a BA in Economics from Johns Hopkins University, with minors in Business and Music. Outside of work, Wes loves to go camping, listen and play jazz music, and is a diehard fan of the NBA and his favorite team, the Utah Jazz. Originally from the East Bay, he is thrilled to be back to explore Oakland and San Francisco again.

photo of Laura Weidman Powers

Laura Weidman Powers,

Entrepreneur-in-Residence

As Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Laura advises the founders in the NMV portfolio on the challenges and opportunities they may face and provides strategic guidance on a one-to-one basis. She is the co-founder and CEO emerita (2012-2018) of Code2040, a nationally-recognized nonprofit whose mission is to ensure the full representation and leadership of Black and Latinx people in the innovation economy.

In summer 2016, Laura was invited to join the Obama Administration for a six month term as a senior advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. At the White House, Laura focused on issues of diversity and inclusion related to ensuring the hiring practices, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and tech products and platforms of the future work for all Americans, particularly those from historically marginalized backgrounds.

Most recently before co-founding Code2040, Laura served as VP of product at a consumer web startup. Prior to that, she directed operations for New York City’s largest public art project and co-founded two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is currently celebrating its 14th year, and one for-profit tutoring company that gave rise to a book.

Laura is a 2018 Stanford Social Entrepreneur in Residence, and a 2016-2017 New America California Fellow. In 2016, Ebony included her on their Power 100 list, Foreign Policy Magazine gave her a Global Thinker award, and The Root named her one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans. In 2015, Fortune named her one of 10 Female Executives on the Rise and San Francisco Magazine saluted her as one of 37 Soldiers of Social Change. From 2014-2016 Laura sat on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) for the US Department of Commerce. Goldman Sachs named her one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. She was a 2013 Echoing Green Fellow and a 2013 Stanford Social Innovation Fellow. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, NBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Inc. NPR, and others.

Laura has a BA cum laude from Harvard College and a JD and an MBA from Stanford University. In fall 2018 she, her husband, and their new baby are taking a nine month sabbatical to travel, and then after more than 10 years away she’s finally moving back to her hometown of New York City. You can find her quick thoughts on Twitter (@laurawp), her longer thoughts on Medium (@laurawp), her management musings on LinkedIn (/in/laurawp), and her personal adventures on Instagram (@lewp).

photo of Adrianna Samaniego

Adrianna Samaniego,

Summer Investment Associate

As a Summer Investment Associate, Adrianna supports in due diligence and deal execution, building the pipeline, and working with the portfolio companies.

Adrianna joins NMV after spending eight years in tech, most recently as Co-founder & Co-CEO at Area 120, Google’s Startup Incubator. In this role, she led a team to rapidly build and launch a B2B marketplace with a mission of empowering minority and women-owned/led businesses to unlock untapped economic potential for their businesses and communities.

Adrianna formerly created and led Google's Global Supplier Diversity Program, which created over $1B in opportunities for diverse-owned businesses. Adrianna is a former Summer Investment Associate at JetBlue Ventures, Venture Fellow at Harlem Capital Partners, and founding member of LTX VC. Adrianna is currently an MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. She is a proud Mexican-American who loves reggaeton and traveling.

# Board
photo of Daaiyah Bilal-Threats

Daaiyah Bilal-Threats

Director for Strategic Alliances, NEA

Dáiyah (pronounced Dye-ya) Bilal-Threats is the current Special Advisor to the Executive Director and Director for Strategic Alliances at the National Education Association.

photo of Anna Fink

Anna Fink

First Vice President, Amalgamated Bank

Anna Fink joined Amalgamated Bank in 2016 after leading the Wyss Foundation’s Women’s Equality Program in the U.S. and Latin America.

photo of Felicia Wong

Felicia Wong

CEO, Roosevelt Institute

Felicia Wong is the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute. She is responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s major program areas.

photo of John Schwartz

John Schwartz

Founder, Voqal

A public broadcasting advocate for nearly 40 years, John has founded community radio and television stations and brought wireless broadband services dedicated to schools and nonprofits to markets.

photo of Julie Kohler

Julie Kohler

Senior Advisor, Democracy Alliance

As Senior Advisor at the Democracy Alliance (DA), Julie plays a key strategic role in developing the DA’s investment strategy and investment recommendations.

photo of Sandor Straus

Sandor Straus

President, Firedoll Foundation

Sandor Straus is the Managing Member of Tigmera, LLC and President of the Firedoll Foundation.

photo of Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

CEO, Propel Capital

Sarah is co-founder and CEO of Propel Capital, which invests in entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers building a more just and equitable society. Propel uses blended capital (political, investment, philanthropic) to accelerate durable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

 
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