James Pérez Foster

| Social Economy Ventures

| General Partner

Venture Capital | Operator | Independent Director | National Bank Founder

Originally from New York City, James is a multi-disciplined senior executive, growth-stage operator and entrepreneur with over 30 years managing complex, scalable teams (public & private) companies. James works with management teams to optimize organizational behaviors and define key market engagement strategies. James has founded and/or structured go-to market strategies for multiple companies focused on disrupting traditional business models. Prior to moving to Colorado, James was Head Trader for a Woodland Hills, CA-based family office and was an equities portfolio and treasury asset manager for Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney/Morgan Stanley specializing in women & BIPOC-owned companies in New York City. 

In 2007, he founded Colorado-based Solera National Bancorp with over $1.2B assets after raising $29M in a 13-state Blue Sky registered, self-underwritten IPO. The bank was the first nationally-approved bank holding company in Colorado in ten years, and is credited as the first national Hispanic-markets specialized banks in the United States. Through Bainbridge Ventures, James advised the New York City Dept. of Finance on their undeserved markets, impact investments & engagement strategies and served as Subject Matter Expert to the Director Economist (Charles Crum) of the Office of Inspector General for United States Postal on a proposed undeserved markets lending program. The project yielded a white paper, “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved” (2014) which was endorsed by Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren. In 2021-2022, James advised NFL Hall of Fame, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens on a BIPOC-focused venture fund collaboration with Red Bird Capital of New York City. James currently advises the CEO of North American Health Services – a 12-facility long term care company based in Los Angeles, California.

He has extensive experience working with rapid-growth companies and is the longest serving mentor, lecturer and capital advisor for the Stanford University Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business since program inception in 2015. James has also mentored for; Access Mode, gBETA (Gener8tor) and Techstars. James has served on over twenty boards including; Bank Holding Company, Venture Capital, Fintechs, Community Development Financial Institutions, Financial Literacy. In 2022-2023 served on the Investment Committee of New Community Transformation Fund, a BIPOC-focused venture capital fund based in Denver, Colorado. He is currently a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA) and the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO).

James and his family live in Lafayette, CO. He graduated from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs with a BA in International Relations. He is an avid fly fisherman, jazz musician and F1 enthusiast.

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