San Francisco, CA and New York, NY – Nonprofit The PAR Fund announced today that its Board of Directors has unanimously agreed to appoint Jorge Robert as Executive Director.
Mr. Robert is a strategic operator specializing in early stage ventures. He has started several companies including the mission-driven, micro-investment firm Bank’d and the long/short equity fund Drescher Capital. He also led global growth initiatives and new market entry as vice president and head of marketing for Asia at T. Rowe Price International. Additionally, Mr. Robert has held leadership roles on various nonprofits boards, including Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore.
With a career spanning more than 25 years across global markets, Mr. Robert (pronounced ‘Ro-bare’) will be bringing to The PAR Fund extensive experience building and leading an early stage organization.
At The PAR Fund, Mr. Robert will set and execute a strategy that capitalizes the newly formed nonprofit organization, implement its flagship mentoring program to drive an increase in the allocation of invested capital to exceptional startups led by female and minority founders, and create significant impact for The PAR Fund’s philanthropic partners.
The PAR Fund Co-Founder and Board Chair Kojo Appenteng, said, “Mr. Robert is an authentic and widely respected business builder with significant leadership experience. He brings experience as both an operator and an investor, which will benefit the entrepreneurs and venture capital investors we work with. His perspective and skillset are global, which allows him to see an entrepreneurs’ broader vision and the impact of our work on the global economy. Given these attributes, along with his Puerto Rican heritage and natural ability to connect with others, the Board was unanimous in its determination that he was the right leader to drive The PAR Fund forward.”
Incoming The PAR Fund Executive Director Jorge Robert, said, “I am thrilled to join The PAR Fund, a premier nonprofit with a world-class Board committed to catalyzing impact. When we connect venture capital networks to startups founded by women and people of color, we unlock a larger opportunity set of investments from which to drive better venture returns. We capitalize innovation that benefits all of our well-being. And we also actively improve the rate at which marginalized founders succeed five years post launch, and increase the probability that they realize upward economic mobility.”
Jilea Hemmings, an entrepreneur that The Par Fund has served, commented on the nonprofit’s impact, “The organization has been an invaluable partner for Nourish + Bloom Market as we sought to raise capital and grow our business. With their expert guidance, we were able to refine our pitch deck and craft a compelling narrative that resonated with investors. Their team was incredibly responsive and provided us with valuable feedback and insights every step of the way. They made warm introductions to a number of highly reputable investors and their support and expertise were instrumental in helping us achieve our goals.”
Mr. Robert added, “We are constantly sourcing brilliant entrepreneurs like Jilea Hemmings. I believe there is a tremendous opportunity to help our portfolio of founders continue to raise much needed capital, generate revenues and create thousands of new jobs. I’m excited to work closely with the Board to create a major impact in the venture industry.”
Mr. Robert Biography
Jorge Robert, 47, is a strategic operator specialized in early stage ventures. He joined The PAR Fund Board in 2021 and has since served as strategic adviser to its portfolio companies.
From 2017-2020, Mr. Robert founded Bank’d, a mission-driven, registered micro-investment firm. From 2016-2017, he led philanthropic partnership development and fundraising as Head of Development at D-Rev, a user-centered design nonprofit. From 2015-2016, Mr. Robert served as Chief Operating Officer at Drescher Capital where he supported the launch of a long/short equity hedge fund. From 2012-2015, Mr. Robert was Founder and Managing Director of BlackFire Partners, a strategic advisory firm where he consulted mission-driven companies on global strategy, capital raising and growth. From 2007-2012, he led global growth initiatives and new market entry as Vice President and Head of Marketing for Asia at T Rowe Price International. Prior to that, he invested in growing Latin American energy, transportation, finance, and telecom companies as a credit analyst for DC-based Latin American economic development banks. He advised and grew global social impact ventures in partnership with the UN, Endeavor, Ashoka, and Opportunity International. He began his career as a strategy consultant at Arthur Andersen and then a marketing strategist at Wells Fargo Private Client Services.
Mr. Robert gained insights into what connects and engages people by having lived in China, Argentina and Brazil. He earned his BA at Yale where he won the Master’s Prize for exceptional leadership. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he co-founded the Kellogg Microfinance Initiative. He is a native Spanish speaker, conversational in Portuguese, and has basic Mandarin language skills. Originally from Puerto Rico, Mr. Robert now resides in San Francisco with his wife and three children.
About the PAR Fund
The PAR Fund helps unlock the full range of investment opportunities by sourcing exceptional entrepreneurs found outside traditional venture networks. Members of the national nonprofit facilitate founders' access to private capital networks and business partnerships. Its philanthropic partners catalyze a reduction in the racial equity gap by improving the probability a traditionally overlooked founder builds a company with the exponential, long-term growth needed to propel upward economic mobility. Founded in 2019 by Wall Street executives and seasoned entrepreneurs who are all Kellogg alumni of color, The PAR Fund serves as a vehicle to pay forward the opportunities others provided to them.