Announcing NMV's 2020 Investment Portfolio
Meet the future of progressive innovation
Mission and Team
We invest in progressive startups.
Spark civic engagement + Change culture + Build movements
This applies leverage at three critical points, creating momentum.
Smaller actions become great shifts, driving long-term political impact.
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman is the President of New Media Ventures. Before joining NMV, Taren was a Senior Product Manager at Change.org, and the founder and Executive Director of global consumer watchdog SumOfUs. Taren also spent years in Democratic politics and the climate and labor movements, working for groups like MoveOn.org, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and the AFL-CIO.
Christie George is one of the country’s leading experts on investing in mission-driven startups. As President of New Media Ventures, she oversaw investment into a portfolio of more than 80 nonprofits and for-profits, including Blavity, Indivisible and SwingLeft. Her work centers on fostering an independent, vibrant, and diverse media sector.
Christie started her career at a venture capital firm, spent six years managing sales and marketing for Women Make Movies, and is a co-founder of Louder (acquired by Change.
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. She lives in Oakland and is a proud co-owner of the Rio Theater in Monte Rio, CA.
As Chief Investment Officer of NMV, Julie was 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.
As Managing Director 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.
Jessica Salinas is Vice President of Investments at New Media Ventures. As VP of Investments, Jess is responsible for the cultivation of early-stage deal flow and portfolio management, building mission-driven partnerships, and leading the growth and direction of the investment team.
Previously, she was a Partner at an impact fund moving the world towards zero poverty, zero disease and zero pollution. Jessica was also the founding Social Impact Lead at Headspace and the founding Director of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education Program.
Jessica serves on the Board of Words Uncaged, which provides programming for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in LA, and Plug in South LA. Jessica received her BA in Communication from Stanford and her MS in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall School of Business.
As Director of Partnerships, Arbour is responsible for leading NMV’s fundraising and partnership efforts, including developing and overseeing fundraising strategies, funder communication, internal systems, and external-facing events.
Arbour has served in development and relationship building roles for the past 12 years. Prior to joining NMV, Arbour held the position of Director of Strategic Partnerships at Aspire Public Schools, Director of Strategic Partnerships at East Bay College Fund (now Oakland Promise), Director of External Relations at OneJustice, and a variety of other development positions in higher ed and youth development fields.
Arbour earned a B.A. in Communication from Western Washington University and an M.A. in Communication from San Diego State University. In her free time, Arbour enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones in beautiful Oakland, watching the Warriors win, dinner parties (pre-COVID19), cycling, and some karaoke when the mood strikes.
As Fundraising & Communications Manager, 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 joined from Grassroots Campaigns, where he fundraised for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Southern Poverty Law Center, and other 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.
As Investment Principal, Phil is responsible for leading investments in early stage mission-driven startups, managing in-bound deal flow, and supporting the growth of NMV's portfolio companies.
Phil served in a variety of roles at Ernst & Young and Rockwood Capital, managing financial duties for clients across technology, real estate, and venture capital. Most recently, Phil was a Fellow at Kapor Capital and an Investment Accounting Manager at the Kapor Center, where he managed various aspects of investing and financial processes at the fund.
Phil leverages his experience to advise early stage startups and serves as Board Chair at the Ella Baker Center in Oakland. This work allows Phil to bring together thought leaders, innovators, supporters, and investors to design communities and startups for good. Phil is from Chicago, Illinois and holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Bethune-Cookman University. When not at work , he enjoys his lifelong pursuit of the best cup of cappuccino and refining his cooking and salsa skills.
As an Investment Principal, 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 to 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.
Mia joins from Mazel Immigration Law, where she was in charge of operations for the firm, including customizing the firm’s database, establishing best practices for data management, and analyzing workflows to increase case preparation efficiency. Previously, she worked in Community Support and Operations for Kiva where she assisted Kiva lenders and provided operations support to her team.
Mia earned a BA in Economics from Carleton College, where she also played on the Varsity Softball team. Outside of work, she loves to spend time in the ocean, play sports, and try new recipes.
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.
Felicia Wong is the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute. She is responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s major program areas.
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.
As Senior Advisor at the Democracy Alliance (DA), Julie plays a key strategic role in developing the DA’s investment strategy and investment recommendations.
Sandor Straus is the Managing Member of Tigmera, LLC and President of the Firedoll Foundation.
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.
Cheryl is an innovator with deep expertise in media, tech, and politics. Attentive.ly – the (NMV-funded!) social marketing startup she co-founded – went on to be acquired by Blackbaud in 2016, making it the first tech startup with a Black woman on the founding team to be acquired by a NASDAQ-traded company. She’s also the Founder of Do Big Things and the author of Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Startup Success.