Taj Ahmad Eldridge Talks About Diverse Capital and Increasing Underrepresented Voices in Cleantech

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Taj Ahmad Eldridge is a 25+ year investment professional whose career has included high level executive roles in banking, asset management, alternative investments, and entrepreneurship. As General Partner of Include Venture Partners and Senior Director of Investments at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Taj has built a longstanding career with expertise in the fields of fintech, media, energy, transportation, and the circular economy. Taj is also one of the 70 Black Investors in Bevy.com - a $325 million virtual conference platform as noted in AfroTech.

At LACI, Taj established both the LACI Impact Fund I (LIF I) and the LACI Debt Fund to allow cleantech companies to grow with diverse capital. These funds utilize an equity impact lens to encourage invested companies to have environmental, economic, and social impact - particularly on increasing the number of underrepresented voices in the cleantech industry. In addition, Taj created programs such as LACI Investor Talks (LIT), the LACI Investor in Residence program, and the Player to CEO Athlete-Investor Impact Summit Series with JP Morgan Chase. Taj has been named one of the 53 Investors to Watch in 2021 by Pitchbook & 101 Black Titans in Tech while nurturing and building a team of investment activists.

Prior to LACI, Taj was the Director for the Incubator at the University of California in Riverside, California. During his tenure as Director, Taj’s team brought a $10M venture fund (Highlander Fund) to the Inland Empire - the first for the region. Because of Taj’s focus on blending entertainment, policy, and entrepreneurship, the region was named the #4 city in the United States for Diverse Entrepreneurs via Entrepreneur Magazine.

Taj began his career as a banker and economist with Wells Fargo Bank, UBS Investment Bank, and TRW Investments. Taj has also been a Founder, Board Member, and Investor in companies such as ILTG Media, Boswell Official Apparel, Voter, Xtopoly, Rookielook, iListen, KYC Hospitality, KIGT, Majira Project, CleanTek Capital and ConCreates. Taj also serves on the Climate Finance Advisory Team of the Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP), the Executive Board of the Homeboy Industries Ventures Fund, and The Majira Project - a Boston Consulting Group Venture Studio.

Taj has been profiled in publications such as Impact Alpha, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pitchbook, Forbes, GreenBiz, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more regarding his tireless efforts on achieving alpha while also advancing equity.

Taj has a BA degree in poetry & literature from Texas A&M University-Commerce, an MBA degree in International Business from Pepperdine University, and studied geopolitical economics at Claremont Graduate University as a PhD. Taj also studied abroad at The Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago, Chile, The Universidad Do Porto in Porto, Portugal, and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in Hong Kong, China.

Taj is an avid audiobook bibliophile and a lover of music of all genres.

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