INVESTS IN PEOPLE,
& facilitates strategy
meet the founders
Social entrepreneurs value the Social Ventures approach that begins with deep due diligence, pushing organizations to define how their current success could be matured into a systems change strategy. Our value add is the combination of our process, financial support and counsel, which is nimble, accessible and knowledgeable. As longtime business investors, leaders of operations teams and board members, we bring seasoned experience in standing up new organizations, developing/bringing new products to market and guiding diverse teams to valuable success. Our journeys have afforded us decades long exposure to critical social equity issues, particularly in health, housing, education and food.
For over two decades, Lisa has worked as an educator, literacy coach, curriculum developer, professional development facilitator and content strategist with a laser focus on empowering teachers to continually improve their practice. With many years of experience in public school classrooms, Lisa leveraged her deep knowledge about the realities of the classroom towards creating the highest quality curricula carefully designed to support implementation with integrity at scale. Lisa started the English Language Arts side of the business at LearnZillion, developing the standards-aligned design and production of thousands of instructional videos, two ELA core curriculums and a library of student managed lessons to lift the quality of student writing. After more than eight years growing the business to a usership of one in every 3 teachers, LearnZillion was acquired by Edgenuity and Weld North. In 2019, Lisa co-founded Wondrus Consulting focused on working with organizations like museums, federal agencies and library systems to increase the impact of their rich content in American classrooms.
Lisa has served on several charter school boards as well as the boards of organizations focused on children and education including The SEED DC Public Charter School, National Children’s Medical Center, and Georgetown Heritage. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Simmons College and a Masters in Teaching from American University.
For the last 25 years John has been fortunate to sit at the intersection of passionate entrepreneurs, transformational ideas, and pools of opportunity capital. As an entrepreneur, a business unit manager, and an investor, John uses motivation, enthusiasm, and his own technology and operational expertise to support portfolio companies in both the business and social sectors. Throughout his career, he has held executive leadership positions, created new business units, and sponsored new projects in a varied set of technology and social disciplines.
As a managing director at Sigma Prime Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, John assisted scores of companies with strategy, people, and financing from inception through substantial growth. He applies lessons learned in company building to the social venture world. John was an early investor in Health Leads and mentored the organization for over twenty years to champion health systems change around the social determinants of health at scale.
Prior to Sigma, John was the President & CEO of Vermeer Technologies, Inc., the developers of FrontPage, the leading Web authoring tool. Vermeer was acquired by Microsoft. Previously, he was an early principal at SQL Solutions, where he created and led an engineering organization chartered to build heterogeneous database tools.
John has an engineering degree in Systems Design and Applied Mathematics and a Masters in Computer Science.
JOSHUA B. BERNSTEIN
Joshua Bernstein is the CEO of Bernstein Management Corporation (BMC), a Washington, DC, based real estate management and investment company. Josh serves as a director on the Washington advisory board of SunTrust Bank, and the board of Capital Bancorp. He is a member of the executive committees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and the Federal City Council and a founding member of the 2030 Group and the Washington Housing Initiative. Josh is a past chair of the board of the Sidwell Friends School and the Meyer Foundation, and President of the Diane and Norman Bernstein charitable family foundation. His philanthropic and civic interests focus on issues of housing, community development, education and social justice.
Josh received a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University, magna cum laude, a general course degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.