Chaitali Patel is Chief Impact Officer at 100 Women in Finance, a global association of women executives in asset management with 32 locations worldwide. She is a highly reputable social impact, finance, and fintech executive. She founded Evergood, an ESG, and sustainability strategy advisory firm, in 2017 to help investors and companies design their sustainability strategies and frameworks.
Chaitali spent several years in the FinTech sector as a Go-To-Market strategy expert; she led the B2B finance arm of Fundation Group, a New York-based financial technology firm, as head of Catalyst Solutions. During her banking tenure, she held various senior executive positions at major national financial institutions, including Bank of Hawaii, Zions Bancorp, PNC Bank, and HSBC Holdings. Her fifteen-plus years in the sector included extensive experience with business strategy, product management, bank operations, channel management, and financial reporting. She also served as a Chief External Affairs Officer overseeing revenue development and external public and private sector relations functions at one of the nation’s largest military family advocacy organizations based in Washington DC.
Chaitali holds a BBA in Finance from the University of North Texas, an executive certificate in Financial Planning from Georgetown University, and an MBA from the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business.
As an ESG and impact investing entrepreneur and investor actively engaged in the academic community, she speaks and shares knowledge on gender equity in the business, social impact investing, ESG metrics, and impact measurement best practices. She serves on the boards of commercial and social impact organizations, including UK-based ESG tech firm Maanch, STEM for Her, a nonprofit with the mission to advance women in STEM careers, and University Impact, a donor-advised impact fund based in Provo, Utah. She is based in the Washington, DC, area.
1) Where do you find investment opportunities?
I find them through networking groups, angel networks, female founder collectives, and incubators. Also, we support many female entrepreneurs at 100 Women in Finance by providing them a platform to showcase their startups to the investor community in our membership.
2) What stage investments do you fund?
I usually look for early, seed, angel, and A rounds.
3) What types of investments, and what sectors do you look for?
As an ESG and impact investing strategist, I believe that investors’ first duty is to maximize shareholder value; however, they must look further to develop an understanding of material risks and structural opportunities available to them through ESG due diligence frameworks and positive impact within the underserved and underrepresented markets. As a result, I believe large gains and opportunities will be discovered in sustainability, green-clean-alternative energy innovation, space exploration, agriculture technology/innovation. Equally importantly – healthcare investment alpha will be delivered through FemHealth therapeutics including hormone management, reproductive health innovation, and other acute and chronic illness affecting women and women post reproductive years.
4) Why are you focusing on women/minorities/under-represented founders?
For so long, we’ve missed out on immense market opportunities within many of these markets. There is so much alpha and gains to be uncovered by simply delivering existing products and services to underserved communities. After that, the opportunities grow from there, and there is vast room for innovation that is yet to be led by people from underserved and underrepresented communities. Women and people within minority communities have voices, thoughts, needs and ideas that are untapped sources of fuel for creating products, services and solutions yet to be uncovered for maor market breathroughts. I’d add that unique life experiences and a life of grit really enables founders to persevere through an entrepreneurship journey, which as we know is a rewarding yet hard road to take. People of color, women, mothers, military spouses, disabled people and military veterans make excellent candidates for this profession.
5) What are you currently focusing on?
The sustainability sector! Unlimited opportunities to redesign, rethink and re-engineer sources and uses of energy that are yet to be discovered, exciting times ahead. There is also a need for dialogue between public and private sectors. I am currently working on building a platform that serves as a facilitator/intersection between public and private sector leaders. With this project I look to facilitate and promote more public and private sector engagement and joint ventures. I believe increated dialogue between these sectors can catalyze large scale investing and will ultimately expedite innovation for sustainable future.
6) How are you changing the room?
I am fearlessly optimistic!. Therefore my way of changing the room is to bring light, positivity and optimism to any place, platform or community I’ve been and belonged to. By nature I am a builder and I like taking risks and doing unconventional things. My passion for progress paired with my desire to build has taken me on a very rewarding professional journey. I will keep building platforms for entrepreneurs, innovators and impact makers to help them succeed. My next big project will be focused on doing just that.