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Dr. Alicia Castillo Holley | Aspiriant Podcast | Money Tales | Wealth Management
Money Tales

Money for Progress, Not Oppression, with Alicia Castillo Holley, Ph.D.


In this episode of Money Tales, our guest is Dr. Alicia Castillo Holley, Ph.D., MBA, MSci. Alicia’s upbringing in Venezuela was rooted in socialist ideals during stable times. However, the financial crisis there changed everything. With $600 and two kids in tow, she embarked on a new chapter in the US, eventually earning an MBA and becoming a venture capitalist. Alicia’s unique perspective sees wealth creation as a gateway to socioeconomic development. Alicia has given a lot of thought to socioeconomic systems like capitalism, socialism, and communism. She believes money should be used for progress, not oppression.

Alicia is a dynamic professional who has seamlessly transitioned from the world of science into the realms of finance and entrepreneurship. She is the General Partner of the Wealthing VC Fund, a venture capital firm that’s gaining recognition for its strategic investments in companies with high growth potential, that also champion diversity & inclusion. The fund’s sweet spots are in Life Sciences and Climate tech. Alicia’s passion lies in supporting innovative solutions that promise to revolutionize these critical sectors, making a positive impact on our world.

Alicia is also the driving force behind the Wealthing VC Club, a private investment group designed for accredited investors. Her extensive network of 56 VC partners, her experienced team, and her deep expertise in venture capital, angel investing, and funding, which spans over three decades, have played pivotal roles in the development and success of this exclusive club. It’s a place where members gain access to handpicked post-seed deals alongside established VC funds.

Beyond her professional roles, Alicia is an advocate for women’s progress in entrepreneurship. She makes a real difference through her global training program, Women Get Funded, which equips female entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge needed to secure funding for their ventures.

Alicia’s diverse portfolio includes investments in over 50 companies, and she’s had a hand in founding or co-founding more than 15 companies and three non-profits. Notably, she was the visionary behind Chile’s very first seed capital fund during her stay in the country from 1996 to 2002.

Before venturing into the worlds of entrepreneurship and investing, Alicia was a researcher in plant genetics. She then transitioned to a role leading the Product Development department at a joint venture between Bayer and Shell. This unique background has given her a well-rounded perspective that’s proved invaluable in her current roles.

Academically, Alicia holds a Ph.D. in Finance and Entrepreneurship, with a focus on Research Commercialization from the University of Western Australia. She’s a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds an MBA from Babson College, and earned a Master of Science in Seed and Biotech, as well as an Engineering degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

Alicia’s journey exemplifies the power of diverse experiences and her commitment to positive change in the world. She’s not just a business leader; she’s a catalyst for innovation and empowerment.

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