“I had no intention of actually investing in cleantech, but then …” Alison Shaw brings her marketing savvy to Element 8’s Outreach committee. She also contributes the slightly different perspective of a fledgling angel investor learning how to translate an enthusiasm for cleantech innovations into action. This is a valuable perspective for the Board as it expands its membership, all of whom want to quickly move up the learning curve of a pretty unique investment niche.
Alison spent over a decade at Microsoft Corporation in a variety of technical, marketing, and senior management positions. Since leaving the corporate world some time ago, she served as the founding Chair of KidsQuest Children’s Museum and drove its inception – her 8 year baptism by fire into the start-up world. Alison has been an active community volunteer with various non-profit groups, particularly Social Venture Partners and Hopelink, as well as a long-time advocate for quality public schools.
Alison has an Honours B. Math from the University of Waterloo in Canada and an M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia. Her first cleantech investment was a Tesla Sedan, and she smiles every time she plugs it in or accelerates around a curve.
“At first I came just to listen. I loved learning each month about new ideas and companies, but I was very passive; I didn’t see myself having the knowledge to invest. Yet the more I listened, the more I understood that real change – in areas that I care about – can happen through angel investing. A game-changing innovation can leap from the lab or drawing board. Jobs can be created. And I have the fun of seeing which ones might make me a profit…who couldn’t help but join in?”