What is Next Wave Ventures?

One of the driving goals of Next Wave Ventures is to increase diversity in angel investing and high growth entrepreneurship.

Our first pilot programs sought to narrow the gender gap in angel investing by providing nearly 200 women a unique learning opportunity that allowed them to build a diversified portfolio of investments, receive mentoring by women who are experienced angel investors, and an education & training program around angel investing.  We completed programs: a US program in partnership with Portfolia and Go Beyond Investing and a Europe program in partnership with Go Beyond Investing and the European Business Angel Network. The Angel Capital Association also partnered with us on the education and training piece, which was supported by the Kauffman Foundation.  We now have new programs forming in the US, Europe, Africa and MENA.  We have also set up a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, the Next Wave Network, which will focus on building out the education and training programs, as well as a global network of women investors and entrepreneurs (and the men who support them).

The Next Wave Network is a global movement to increase women’s participation in angel investing as an asset class. It has been developed to provide an enriching investment experience; including an investment portfolio in start-ups, an education of the investment process, and the development of a global angel community of successful business women across the US, Europe, Africa,Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Dr. Alicia Robb is the Founder of Next Wave Ventures.  She was previously a Senior Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation for more than a decade (www.kauffman.org). She is also the Founder and past Executive Director and Board Chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Development. (www.fsdinternational.org). Dr. Robb received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has previously worked with the the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Office of Economic Research in the SBA. She is a prolific author on the topic of entrepreneurship. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the co-author of A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Businesses and The Next Wave: Financing and Investing Strategies for Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs by Stanford University Press, as well as Race and Entrepreneurial Success published by MIT Press.  She is an active investor, a mentor to various young firms, and an advisory board member for several nonprofit groups, including the Deming Center Venture Fund and the Foundation for Sustainable Development.  Click here to see some of Alicia’s blogs and investments.




Our team hails from around the country and has a wide variety of professional and industry expertise. There are many familiar faces, as well as some women who might be new to you. We are so excited to have this amazingly diverse and successful group of women leading our impact efforts!

Alicia Robb, Durango, Colorado

Alicia is the Founder and CEO of Next Wave Ventures.  She was previously a Senior Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation for more than a decade. She launched the Rising Tide Angel Training Program in the US and Europe in 2015 and is now working with women around the globe in expanding the Next Wave Network to Africa, MENA, Latin America, and Asia. She is a Visiting Scholar with the University of California in Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is also the Founder and past Executive Director and Board Chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Development, an international development organization working in Latin America, Africa, and India. Alicia received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has previously worked with the Office of Economic Research in the Small Business Administration and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She is a prolific author on the topics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the co-author of Race and Entrepreneurial Success published by MIT Press and A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Businesses and The Next Wave: Financing Women’s Growth Oriented Firms published by Stanford University Press.

She is a Managing Partner of the Next Wave US Impact Fund I, The Rising Tide Angel Training Program US Fund I, and the SCAPE Accelerator Fund in Colorado. Some of the boards and advisory boards she serves on include: the National Advisory Council for Minority Business EnterpriseGlobal Entrepreneurship Week, the Deming Center Venture Fund, and the Good Food Institute.  She is an angel investor, a mentor to various young firms, and a general partner in three early stage venture funds. She enjoys speaking globally on the topic of entrepreneurship as well as being a judge for pitch competitions around the. She relocated to Boulder, CO in 2014 after 12 years in Marin County, CA and 5 years in Washington, D.C.  An avid animal lover and long time vegan, she is interested in supporting vegan entrepreneurs that are disrupting animal agriculture and removing animals from the supply chain. Alicia lives with her husband Mark, along with their many 4-legged family members on 80 acres in Montezuma County, outside of Durango, Colorado.  They currently plan on splitting their time between Colorado and California.

Wendee Wolfson, Washington, D.C.

Wendee served on the board or as board advisor to several portfolio companies. She served as one of the nine of the lead angels of the inaugural Rising Tide Angel Training Program in the US, as well as an LP in the inaugural Europe Fund.   She remains actively involved with organized angel investing groups, currently as a member of New Dominion Angels, in northern Virginia, and as co-chair of the International Exchange, an annual gathering hosted by the Angel Capital Association to strengthen the network and share effective practices among group leaders and investors in developed and emerging countries. At Wealthbridge Partners, she consulted to families in business together, creating and facilitating programs for family members and wealth managers on family dynamics, communications, leadership development, and leadership transitions between generations. In an independent practice, she has worked with non-profit boards to develop strategic initiatives and implement leadership transitions as a consultant and as a board member. Wendee began her career and spent several years in the financial services industry. She has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.


Janine has more than 35 years of experience in information technology with the last twenty focused on using information technology and business thinking to solve challenging social and development problems. Through her work, Janine has gained expertise in a range of sectors including financial services, health care, and education. She has led initiatives around the globe, but with particular emphasis on Africa and Asia. In Indonesia, Janine served as Executive Director for XSProject, a non-profit business that transformed trash into consumer products. On a personal level, Janine has been tracking the social entrepreneur and impact investing spheres for at least 15 years. She has made a commitment to move all of her personal investments into asset classes, funds, and private placements that align with her values. As such, she is a founding member of the Seattle Chapter of Toniic, a global action community for impact investors. Janine has served on the boards of what is now the Presidio Graduate School and Water.org. She was also an early advisor to Kiva.org, and was one of the LPs in the inaugural US Fund.



In 2015, Sue began working with Queen City Angels (QCA) on a strategy refresh project, which ignited her interest in angel investing and passion for participating in growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati. In late 2015, she joined the inaugural Rising Tide cohort and in 2016 became a member of QCA. Sue is active in screening and due diligence work, as well as co-leading QCA’s diversity/inclusion strategy pillar.  She thrives on mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs helping to guide consumer/customer insights, design thinking, lean startup, business planning and innovation strategies. Additionally, Sue is active in non-profit work as Board President of Women Helping Women, an organization focused on preventing gender-based violence and empowering all survivors with intervention and support services. She is a founding member and Past President of Impact 100, a women’s giving circle focused on encouraging women to collectively fund impactful community projects, which has expanded to 40 cities. Sue received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University.




Wingee has had a distinguished career in the capital markets.  Over the span of 15 years, she led the Global Product Strategy team within State Street Global Advisor’s retirement business; advised central banks, sovereign wealth, and pensions in non-Japan Asia; consulted institutional clients on alternative investments for Barclay Global Investor; and authored Equity Derivatives research at Goldman Sachs & Co. She was also a board member for Foundation for Sustainable Development for eight years, focusing on micro grants and grassroot development work.  Wingee received her BA in economics and East Asian developmental studies from University of California at Berkeley. She has earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and Chartered Financial Analyst Designations. She has been through the Pipeline Angels program and was one of the LPs in the inaugural US Rising Tide Program.



Kristina has also held leadership roles with two successful “start-up” public schools, Normal Park Museum Magnet and the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, the city’s first charter school, and served as a program associate at the Public Education Foundation. A native of Seattle, Kristina received her B.A. from Vassar College and served as a Teach for America corps member in rural Louisiana before pursuing her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Washington. Her long-time engagement in philanthropic and non-profit ventures underscores her commitment to encourage women to invest in women for both the economic and social benefit.  Kristina is the current board chair of the Creative Discovery Museum, vice chair of the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation and serves on the board of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Normal Park Education Fund, Launch Chattanooga, and Footprint Foundation.  She is also an active member of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and Chattanooga Downtown Rotary and was recognized as a 2013 Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association.

 As the founding general manager of Grameen-Jameel, a social business jointly owned by Grameen Foundation and Abdul Latif Jameel Group, she originated, structured and closed $44 million in leveraged commercial debt financing for microfinance institutions in Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. In 2013, Heather started the Women’s Angel Investor Network (WAIN), the first women’s angel investment group in the Middle East, and served as Interim CFO for Little Thinking Minds, one of WAIN’s first investments. She wrote a chapter on angel investing in the United Arab Emirates that was published in Angels Without Borders in 2016.


Heather left Wall Street in 2004 to venture into the social enterprise sector. Previously, she worked for Standard & Poor’s as a corporate bond ratings analyst in the capital goods and auto supplier sector. Over the last 20 years, she has lived and worked in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Palestine, and she speaks Arabic and French. Heather is the advisor to CoFund, a Dutch microfinance private equity fund, and a mentor for Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi entrepreneur members. She is an investor in Rising Tide Europe and Dubai Angel Investors, where she is also a Board Director and Investment Committee member, and a cofounder of Rhodium 45, an impact angel investor club in Dubai. She serves on the Advisory Council of BR Microcapital, Cornell University’s microfinance fund; is a Board member of the Cornell Club of the UAE and past Co-Chair of the Johnson Middle East Alumni Club (2011-13); served as the Middle East Advisor to Cornell’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative (2014-15); is co-founder and past Chair of the Dubai Microfinance Club (2011-13). Heather represents Oikocredit’s investment on the Sekem Board of Directors.   Heather holds an MBA from the Johnson School at Cornell University, where she was a full-merit Park Leadership Fellow scholarship recipient, and a BA from Oberlin College. Heather studied abroad at The American University in Cairo (AUC), where she was a Presidential Fellow.



The first Angel Training Pilot Programs launched in the United States and Europe in 2015 .

United States: 1million+ dollars from 97 investors; 10 deals over 12 months. Click HERE for details. (view bios of lead angels for US program)   

Europe: 1 million+  euros from 92 investors; 8 deals over 12 months. Click HERE for details.  (view bios of lead angels for Europe program)

Click HERE to view the investments made by the first two funds.  Click HERE to read more about our goals, investment thesis, and we selected companies for consideration.


Education & Training


Brigitte Baumann of Go Beyond Investing, Marianne Hudson of Angel Capital Association, and Alicia Robb of Kauffman Foundation and Next Wave Ventures will lead the education and training component of the Rising Tide Programs.

Online training materials will be available to all program participants. Additional training will be provided to program participants through online podcasts, webinars, Q&A sessions, angel investor hours, and in-person quarterly regional workshops. All webinars will be recorded and placed on the platform.

Q&A and mentoring sessions will also be held by the experienced investors on a monthly basis for all new/emerging investors.

Go to the Education and Training Page for more details.

Partners & Sponsors

Next Wave would like to thank the following Sponsors, Partners, Advisors:

Educational/Training Sponsors and Partners


Deal Flow Partners


Get Involved

Question? Comment? Send us a note!