Alicia Robb

Member Spotlight

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

My name is Alicia Robb and I'm the founder and CEO of Next Wave Ventures, which invests in early stage ventures. Our newest fund is focused on impact investing and bringing more women into angel investing.

How would you define your professional mission?

Drive greater diversity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and support companies that are having a significant positive impact on our planet.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

I was senior fellow with the Kauffman Foundation for more than a decade and I am the Founder and past Executive Director of the Foundation for Sustainable Development. Both of these experiences were so impactful on who I am today.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

Getting more women engaged in impact investing. Encouraging them to take the plunge.

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

My newest project, the Next Wave US Impact Fund I is the one I'm most excited about because that's what I'm currently working on and I think is the tip of the iceberg.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

My Ph.D. is in economics and I started in microfinance, moving to small business finances with the Federal Reserve (in the Greenspan days) and then entrepreneurial finance with the Kauffman Foundation. I've always been interested in women's microenterprise and women's entrepreneurship and my focus on narrowing the gender gap on the investor side is very much related to getting more funding to women-led companies.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The leadership team of our new impact fund is just amazing, as well as all our limited partners. To be surrounded by such amazing women and entrepreneurs on a daily basis is an inspiration.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

Closing the gender gap in angel investing and high growth entrepreneurship!

Who are your role models?

So many women who have led the charge on this -- Brigitte Baumann, Wendee Wolfson, Jenn Pryce, Katie Rae, Suzanne Biegel, Stephanie Gripne, Barbara Bauer, Kate Mitchell, Amanda Lee, Tracy Gray, Gayle Jennings, and so many others.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

Perseverance. I always say that a Ph.D. is a reflection of that rather than intellect.

What does success look like to you?

Having the world a better place because I was here.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Do what you feel passionately about. Then it's not work!

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

I'm always in awe of women that could do both! My kids are four-legged. I guess I'd say don't feel like you need to be perfect at everything. There are always tradeoffs. Don't get up at 4 in the morning to bake brownies. Just buy some!

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I really enjoyed our virtual squad meetings. We had women from various parts of the country from different industries and it was interesting to share challenges and successes.

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