From Pageant Queen To Top Tech Investor

Going Green is always looking for leaders to highlight and share their story. We had the chance to sit down with Mariah Lichtenstern, the Founding Partner of DiverseCity Ventures. DiverseCity Ventures backs companies with both positive social, economic, environmental impact, and high potential for outsized returns. Mariah shares her journey of how she became a top tech investor.

What is your occupation? Where do you work? 

I am the Founding Partner of DiverseCity Ventures.

Tell us a little bit about you and your background:

 At the intersection of technology, entertainment, and venture capital, I accelerate positive social, economic, and environmental impact through entrepreneurship. An alumna of UC Berkeley, USC, and UCLA, I am the Founding Partner of DiverseCity Ventures and Managing Director of the Founder Institute, Sacramento, California chapter, which was recognized by Forbes Magazine as the 3rd most gender diverse chapter in the world.

I serve as an advisor for the California Clean Energy Fund’s CalSEED initiative, Berkeley Skydeck, Village Capital Finance Forward, FourthWave female founder accelerator, and,Yale University School of Medicine’s Digital Innovation and Diversity Initiative.

I am a member of UCLA Ventures and an Aspen Tech Policy Hub Fellow, where I advocate to close the tech industry funding gap.

What is a fun fact about you?

I’m a two-time pageant queen with my highest scores in “communicative skills.”

What was your motivation to get into this industry?

I’m impact-driven.

Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today?

 It’s an existential, ethical, and economic imperative.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

I’d like to see a new breed of investors and founders who think more holistically.

What can the average person do to make a difference?

 It starts with awareness. Choose the next small change you can make and keep making changes.

What positive changes are you seeing?

California, for one, has been a leader in advancing sustainability and the New Energy Nexus is investing non-dilutive funding into clean energy companies through CalSEED.

Going Green wants to thank Mariah for taking the time to share her experience as a top tech investor.

Our goal on Going Green is to bring you the latest in green technology advancements, while also giving you action items to takeaway and apply to your life. We focus a lot on energy, transportation, finance, and media. Focusing on sharing the stories from tech entrepreneurs around the world is a priority to us, and we are grateful to be able to share stories about the top tech investors.

Going Green interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts.

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Dylan Welch
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.
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