Brandeis International Business School

Barbara Clarke, MA'91, Founder and President, The Impact Seat

Barbara Clarke

A Celebration of Climate Innovation
Thursday, April 15, 10 A.M. EDT

Investor, economist and entrepreneur, Barbara Clarke enjoys interacting with professionals who believe in creating diverse teams to drive innovation and business success. Called ‘The Force’, Clarke fuels change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, stimulates growth in early stage tech startups and boosts organizational excellence with her investment expertise and global insights. 

Founder and president of The Impact Seat, Clarke has been investing in emerging technologies, including medical devices, for almost a decade. To date, Clarke has invested in more than 60 companies and 12 funds in North America and Europe. She has been creating opportunities for under-represented entrepreneurs by investing in companies that are either led by women of color or have women on their funding teams – even before it became fashionable to do so. As a key member of the investment community, she also advises entrepreneurs and innovators on launching companies, accessing capital, and leveraging the international network of investors. 

Barbara serves on several boards, including Portfolia, an investment fund focused on women as venture capitalists, Founders First Capital Partners, an accelerator and finance firm that invests in a diverse group of founders and Boost, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform using computer vision technology. 

Prior to launching The Impact Seat, Clarke spent more than a decade in management consulting firms, including KPMG and PwC and launched a nationwide nonprofit to support grieving children. She holds a bachelor’s degree in quantitative economics from Tufts University and master’s in international economics and finance from Brandeis University.  A polyglot, she speaks several languages, including German, French and Italian.

When she is not scoping out promising startups to invest in, Clarke enjoys exploring new cities, supporting local artists and listening to alternative/indie rock.