Lein represents a new generation of urban economic development, deploying an array of tools to drive social change. Ms. Lein is a co-founder and Managing Partner of the recently established Urban Innovation Fund, a venture capital firm that provides seed capital and regulatory expertise to entrepreneurs working to both solve our toughest urban challenges and grow into tomorrow’s most valued companies.
Together with her co-founder Clara Brenner, she also started Tumml, a non-profit accelerator for entrepreneurs working on seemingly intractable problems like transportation, education and workforce development. Since 2014, Tumml has incubated 33 startups that have raised $37 million in funding and launched products and services for over 2.2 million people. To date, 76% of the companies Tumml has funded have a woman or person of color on the founding team.
What’s the most important thing we need to do to close racial gaps? “Invest in entrepreneurs of color.”
Prior to founding Tumml, she worked as an Education Pioneers Fellow with Revolution Foods, a healthy school meals provider for schools where she reported directly to the Co-founder and CIO on projects ranging from financial budgeting to IT information systems. Her work in urban entrepreneurship has been featured in numerous press outlets, including CNN, TedX, Forbes, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among others.
Julie has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a BA from Stanford. She was recognized in September 2016 as one of Living Cities' 25 Disruptive Leaders working to close racial opportunity gaps.