ESG in Venture and Tech Investing 

24 January 2023


Increasingly, investors in venture and technology must respond to questions on how their portfolio addresses ESG risks. However, understanding ESG in the context of technology, and creating internal processes to measure, track, and monitor it, looks very different than in traditional investments.   

In this training, practitioner faculty will address how to tackle ESG when investing in technology, especially in early-stage companies. The session will:  

  • Discuss how ESG is progressively defined in diverse investment portfolios
  • Show different approaches to tackling ESG in technology and early-stage investments  
  • Explore how to establish internal mechanisms that measure ESG in technology investments 


Tracy Barba
Executive Director

Tracy Barba has more than 15 years of experience leading social and environmental initiatives for private equity and venture capital firms, family offices, and stakeholder networks. She was most recently the Head of ESG at 500 Global, where she led ESG policy design and implementation. Previously she was the Head of Marketing and Investor Development for Bamboo Capital Partners, a private equity impact fund investing in financial services, renewable energy, and healthcare sectors across more than 30 emerging and frontier market countries. Before that, she led public affairs at Social Finance US, the firm behind the Social Impact Bond.

She was the West Coast Executive Director of Golden Seeds, a 275-member investor network investing in women-led companies. She started her career with venture funds in Silicon Valley, where she was the Director of Marketing and Strategic Relations for VantagePoint Venture Partners, a $5B private equity firm investing in renewable energy innovation, InterWest Venture Partners, a $6B fund manager investing in early-stage life science and information technology companies.

She has served as a mentor and faculty member to accelerators and fellows programs, including Echoing Green, Unreasonable Institute, Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur Program, Global Social Business Incubator, and Pipeline Angels, among others.

Tracy graduated from the Women’s College at the University of Dever and attended the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Monica Brand Engel
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Quona Capital

Monica Brand Engel is co-founder and Managing Partner at Quona, where she leads Quona’s Africa, MENA and Cross-Border investment strategy.

Monica is an investor and entrepreneur, having launched a number of investment vehicles and products aimed at broadening financial inclusion. Monica spent her formative years in Silicon Valley, where she helped launch a $50 million multi-bank lending intermediary to finance small businesses. Monica also worked at Calvert Ventures and Anthuri Ventures—early-stage equity vehicles based in Bethesda, Maryland and Cape Town, respectively. While living in South Africa, Monica founded Anthuri Catalysts to prepare early-stage companies for investment.

Monica then joined Accion to set up and run a product innovation group and worked in Mexico with Gentera (née Compartamos) Bank, the largest microfinance institution in Latin America, which went public in 2007 (NSDQ: GENTERA:MM). She was the founding managing director of Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, the predecessor to Quona Capital.

Monica holds an MBA and MA Ed from Stanford University and a BA in economics with honors from Williams College. She serves on the boards of Khazna, Wasoko, Capiter, Verto, GloboKasNet, and Zoona, and is a founding member of the GPCA Impact Council. Previously, she served on the boards of Gentera (née Compartamos) Bank (IPO), Azimo (sold to Papaya), Shubham Housing (sold to Premji Invest), Yoco, Tiaxa (sold to BeMobi), Paralife, and Pay Rent Builds Credit (acquired by MicroBilt) and chaired the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog Investments, the world’s first microinsurance fund.

She’s half Peruvian and blessed with a fantastic husband and twins.

David Mathewson
Partner and COO

David Mathewson joined Quona Capital in 2022 as Partner & Chief Operating Officer.  

Prior to joining Quona, David was Senior Managing Director at Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), where he was a member of the firm’s senior management team and served as the chair of the firm’s Global Investment Committee. From 2010 to 2015, David served as Senior Managing Director of Franklin Templeton Investments/Darby Private Equity, with chief operating officer responsibilities for the financial, fund administration, ESG and business development aspects of Darby’s global operations. From 2000 to 2009, David was Managing Director at Soros Fund Management and an affiliate where he served as a founding member of the management team of Southeast Europe Equity Fund I and II, two private equity funds

for Southeast Europe and Turkey with combined capital of $520 million.

Prior to Soros, David served as a Director with Delphos/Banc One Capital Markets where he was responsible for emerging market fund formation and private placements. From 1994 to 1997, David served as the deputy head of the investment funds department at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington DC. David began his career as a banker with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University and a Master of Management degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Jaclyn Seow
Vice President, ESG and Impact
Openspace Ventures

Jaclyn Seow leads ESG and Impact at Openspace Ventures, a venture fund focused on tech-powered startups in Southeast Asia. Openspace manages over US$650M in committed capital and counts global responsible investors such as Temasek, Norfund, DEG, and DFC among its trusted LPs. Jaclyn is involved in sustainable investments and works closely with investors and portfolio companies to develop and institutionalize ESG implementation capacity.

Jaclyn was previously with the Singapore Government and has represented the country in negotiations on global economic growth and development issues at the United Nations General Assembly. She currently serves on the ESG Subcommittee of the Singapore Venture and Private Capital Association and sits on the boards of non-profits Advisory and WISE (Women in Sustainability and Environment).