First Access is proud to welcome John Walker as an Advisory Board Member! Currently, John is Director of Finance and Business Development at A-List Education, a venture that provides a suite of unique college education products and services. He leads all finance activities and, through his business development expertise, enables the growth of new products that target the nationwide education market.
John was previously Consulting Director of Finance at Echoing Green, where in addition to managing the organization’s financial systems he also led all impact investing activities, developing the Recoverable Grant investment concept and leading the structuring of the partnership with The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund, a venture investment fund focused on financing capital for expansion.
John speaks regularly on social enterprise and impact investing at a wide range of industry events, including the annual Social Capital (SOCAP) conference. He lectures on impact investing at Columbia Business School and at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and advises a number of start-up social businesses, focusing on early-stage business and investment strategy.
Prior to Echoing Green, John was a principal with Chart Venture Partners and Chart Group in New York City actively contributing to venture and LBO deals worth over $200 million in aggregate, covering semiconductor, imaging, and materials technologies and the industrial manufacturing sector. As principal, he performed deal sourcing, evaluation and structuring of early-stage equity investments in addition to portfolio company support in financial management.
Before moving to New York City from Edinburgh, Scotland, John was Marketing and Technical Director at Pentland Systems, a venture-backed technology enterprise developing signal acquisition systems. Pentland Systems was successfully sold to an industry partner in 2007. He was also a member of the Defense Science Advisory Council at the UK Ministry of Defence; and previously a senior engineer with BAE Systems, where he was a technical and program lead on international partner programs across Europe.