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Today: July 14, 2024
January 5, 2024
2 mins read

Sustainability-Oriented VC Founder Seizes Control of Penn’s Board

TLDR:

– Ramanan Raghavendran, a venture capitalist focused on climate and sustainability, has become the new board chair of the University of Pennsylvania.
– Raghavendran is a Penn alumnus and has three decades of experience in venture capital and growth equity.
– He is the co-founder of Amasia, a VC firm that invests in technology companies addressing the climate crisis and sustainability.
– Raghavendran is heavily involved in nonprofits and serves on various boards and advisory councils.
– In addition to his role at Penn, he has authored a book on climate change and hosts a climate-themed podcast.

Ramanan Raghavendran, a venture capitalist with a focus on climate and sustainability, has been appointed as the new board chair of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Raghavendran replaces Scott L. Bok, who resigned from the position in December. Raghavendran is known for his investments in climate and sustainability through his venture capital firm, Amasia, and is a strong advocate for the role of universities in modern civilization. He has three decades of experience in venture capital and growth equity and is an alumnus of Penn. In this new role, Raghavendran will oversee communication with the university’s administration and manage relationships with outside organizations.

Here are five key things to know about Ramanan Raghavendran and his new role as the chair of Penn’s board:

1. Sustainability Focus: Raghavendran is the co-founder of Amasia, a venture capital firm that invests in technology companies addressing the climate crisis and sustainability. The firm has raised over $262 million and focuses on seed to Series B stages. Raghavendran has also written a book on climate change and hosts a climate-themed podcast.

2. Indian Immigrant: Raghavendran grew up in India, where his father served in the Indian Air Force for 41 years. At the age of 16, he immigrated to the US to attend Penn. He holds multiple degrees, including bachelor’s degrees in computer science and engineering and in economics. He is currently pursuing a degree from Stanford University’s Master of Liberal Arts program.

3. Extensive Experience: With 30 years of investing experience, Raghavendran has worked for renowned firms such as McKinsey, General Atlantic, Insight Partners, TH Lee Putnam Ventures, and Kubera Partners. He has also served on boards and advisory councils for various nonprofits, including SF Goodwill, Natural Capital Project at Stanford, and Impact Partners, the first Indian venture philanthropy fund.

4. Philanthropy Work: Raghavendran is the chairman of the advisory board for Magic Bus, an NGO that supports at-risk children in India. He is passionate about using venture philanthropy to create social impact and has been actively involved in supporting nonprofits throughout his career.

5. Diverse Interests: In addition to his work in venture capital and philanthropy, Raghavendran is a writer. He has authored a book on climate change and maintains a Substack where he shares his thoughts on various topics, including trust, failure, and his alma mater, Penn.

Raghavendran’s appointment comes at a time of increased scrutiny on elite universities and their policies surrounding diversity and freedom of speech. As the new chair of Penn’s board, he will play a crucial role in navigating these challenges and supporting the mission of the institution.

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