Changing the Color of Capital in Denver: A Fireside Chat with Danielle Shoots and Raju Patel
Danielle Shoots is the Managing Partner of Denver's New Community Transformation Fund; A $50M venture capital fund that invests in companies owned and operated by business leaders of color located in Colorado. NCTF believes in a more diverse economy, driven by economic prosperity in Denver and Colorado’s communities of opportunity. With greater access to capital and essential support services, they're creating upward mobility for entrepreneurs who haven’t been given this opportunity historically.
As quoted in the Denver Business Journal:
"The New Community Transformation Fund seeks to provide access to capital for entrepreneurs who have underinvestment because of a racial gap in venture funding. Black and Latino founders raised only 3.5% of venture funding in 2021, according to Crunchbase data.
'There's not another financial system where the equity inequalities are still that deep," said Danielle Shoots, the managing partner of the new fund. "We have to start including people who have been historically excluded from these wealth-building tools because these tools grow full economies, and everybody wins. We're going to be able to show that here.'"
Join us for this fireside chat where Danielle, and one of NCTF's investors, Raju Patel, President, Bank of America Denver will dive into the details of this new investment model, how it will change the color of capital in Denver, build generational wealth for Black, Latino, Indigenous, Persons of Color (BIPOC) business owners, and activate Denver's economy through systematic change in venture funding.
Moderator: Dianne Myles, Dope Mom Life
About the Panelists:
Danielle Shoots is the Managing Partner and Managing Director of the New Community Transformation fund – Denver, an equity venture capital fund for BIPOC founders and the President and CEO of Wealth Equity Enterprises, a holdings company that owns several businesses that support the mission of building BIPOC wealth and leadership. Born and raised in Colorado, Danielle is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver, where she earned a degree in Business Administration.
At the age of 26, Danielle embarked on her executive leadership path ascending to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. After the state, Danielle served as the Vice President of Finance and Business Operations for the West Division of Comcast, managing a billion-dollar capital portfolio, strategic FP&A, Mergers and Acquisitions and a team of sixty employees located in seven states. Most recently Danielle, was the Chief Financial Officer for the Colorado Trust where she grew the foundation’s endowment from $430 million to nearly $600 million, reduced cash on hand to a recurring 1% while still operating the foundation. She also launched a direct investment portfolio across the State making investments in local media companies, real estate and housing and small businesses and leveraging the endowments’ balance sheet for creative bridge financing across multiple sectors and industries.
Danielle’s passion for people and leadership, distinguished business acumen and tenacious work ethic have garnered her numerous accolades, including inclusion on the prestigious 2019 list of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business from the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, The 2020 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy from ABFE, The 2018 Woman of the Year Award for her work with youth in the community, and a recipient of the 2017 Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award.
Danielle is a passionate community member and serves as a trustee for the Women’s Foundation, a mayoral appointed board member for the Prosper Denver Fund and the chief economic equity advisor to State Senator, James Coleman and State Representative, Leslie Harod.
Raju Patel is President of Bank of America Denver, working throughout the region to connect businesses, families and individuals to Bank of America’s banking, lending and investment teams. He leads the effort to direct the bank’s resources in the market to address local priorities and help build strong communities, including investments in environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs that help foster economic mobility in the community.
In addition to the Denver President role, Raju is the Market Executive for Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America in the Colorado Market. He leads a team of commercial bankers who partner across the bank to deliver the full suite of services including investment banking, credit, treasury solutions, investment management and personal banking to middle market companies and institutions with annual revenues of $50 million to $2 billion.
Raju joined Bank of America in 1985 and has held roles in strategic planning, finance, credit products and relationship management. Raju earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from DePaul University. He is a FINRA registered Principal and holds Series 7, 24, and 63 securities licenses.
Raju currently serves as Chair of Denver Civic Ventures and is on the Management Board of the Downtown Denver Partnership. He is also a Board Member of The Food Bank of the Rockies, Foundation Board Member of the Denver Art Museum, and a member of Colorado Concern. In 2021, Raju was recognized as a Most Admired CEO by the Denver Business Journal.
Raju and his wife, Lisa, are the proud parents of three adult children and currently reside in downtown Denver, CO.