Meet the 2022 Champions of Change | Investor of the Year Nominees

2022 Champions of Change Investor of the Year Nominees

Harold Hughes
CEO & Founder

Harold Hughes is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon, a South Carolina-based live experience technology company. Under his leadership, Bandwagon has raised more than $3M in venture capital and successfully acquired IdealSeat, Inc. in 2020. As a first-generation American, Harold prioritized education, receiving two Bachelors degrees (Economics and Political Science) from Clemson University. He later went on to receive his MBA from Clemson while he led business development at a Fortune 1000 company based in Greenville, South Carolina. A man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Harold is actively involved in his community participating on the Board of Directors for BEAM, a non-profit that focuses on the advancement of women entrepreneurs as they grow their companies as well as a founding team member of Amass, an ene-to-end wealth building platform for Black Americans. To that end, Harold is also an active angel investor, investing in women, people of color, and Black founder-led companies. Most notably, he has invested in Partake Foods, the Jay-Z-backed CPG company making allergy-friendly snacks as well as companies like Goodr, Chipper, Journey Foods, Republic, and Stix.

Nait Jones

Silicon Valley based executive and operator with a 20 year background in entrepreneurship, startups, consumer internet, and entertainment driven business (music, gaming, movies). A student of culture and how it impacts brands and consumers from having grown up all over the world and from taking a less traditional path out of hardship into leadership. Nait now mentors startup executives and shares cultural and leadership insights with digital executives who manage the worlds most recognizable consumer brands.

Ethan Monreal-Jackson
Founder & General Partner Newtype Ventures

Ethan is the Founder and General Partner of Newtype Ventures, a Seed-stage fund investing in African American, Latin American, and Native American founders. Early in his career, Ethan worked in banking and early stage fintech startups, including Affirm, in the Bay Area. He spent the last two years in Austin managing Notley Ventures' investment portfolio before launching his own fund.

Anita Roberts
Silicon Hills Capital

An army officer and combat veteran, Anita served as a logistics & public relations officer, achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and served on the first black POTUS' inaugural public relations team. She most recently studied Venture Capital at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and Venture Capital and Angel Investing alongside Black Venture Institute, Salesforce Ventures, Operator Collective, and the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business. Anita is a proud HBCU alum of Prairie View A&M University and holds a Bachelor's from the University of South Alabama. In 2021 Anita provided grants and investments to more than 50 Black & Female founders. Currently she is the only black female owned investment firm in Texas funding Black female founders. Anita passion is helping Black & women founders start, grow and scale their businesses helping to create more equity in the Venture space. As black women start the most businesses in the US each year Anita wanted to help grow and scale more black & women businesses by providing funding directly. Anita also owns one of the top 5 black business websites for Black entrepreneurs. She strives to help black businesses achieve more marketshare.

Albert Swantner
Partner, The Fund Austin & VP of Engineering, Clerk

Albert Swantner is a Partner at The Fund Austin, investing in early stage startups. He is also the VP of Engineering at Clerk, a venture backed retail tech company. Prior to Clerk, Albert was the Co-Founder and CTO of Mobile Tech RX, an automotive technology company where he helped lead the company through a successful acquisition by Repairify, Inc. Albert has been inducted into the Mechanical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at The University of Texas at Austin . He is active in the Austin community and is a Culturati and Notley Fellow. He is on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, The Adventure Project, Naturally Austin, Knowbility, the Austin Monitor, and on the City of Austin Zero Waste Advisory Commission. He advises and invests in multiple startups, and works with the University of Texas Humanitarian Engineering Program, SXSW, and DivInc. He currently lives with his wife, Sarah, and two sons, Elliott and Everett in Austin, Texas.

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