FinTech Innovation Challenge Judge

Monica Brand Engel

Co-founder & Partner, Quona Capital

Monica Brand Engel is an entrepreneur and investor, having launched various funds and products aimed at broadening financial inclusion.  She is the co-founding partner of Quona Capital – venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets.  Quona is the investment manager for the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global, third-party fintech fund for inclusion, and its successor, the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund.  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 and Cape Town, respectively.  While living in S Africa, Monica founded Anthuri Catalysts to prepare early stage companies for investment. Monica then joined Accion to set up 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 from Williams College. She serves on the boards of Sokowatch, Yoco, Azimo, GloboKasNet, Tiaxa and Zoona; is a founding member of the EMPEA Impact Council; and chairs the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog Investments, the world’s first microinsurance fund.  Previously, she served on the boards of Gentera (née Compartamos) Bank (IPO), Shubham Housing (sold to Premji Invest), AllLife, Paralife, and Pay Rent Builds Credit (accquired by MicroBilt). She’s half Peruvian and blessed with a fantastic husband and twins.