Head of Impact & Sustainability, Pitango Venture Capital
SII: How has your work been affected by the COVID-19 crisis?
My work consists of talking with people in person as well as email communication – so of course all my work moved online. It was about advising the companies and making sure they were prepared and active to keep safe and working as well as building the new Pitango Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) strategy and implementation plan.
Just prior to the COVID-19 crisis I co-founded GITA – the Global Impact Tech Alliance, a new organization aiming to be the home for impact-tech practitioners around the world. We had plans for events and community building which were all moved online. Luckily, there is a very big interest in this topic and we managed to hold several online events, build the community as well as launch GITA Germany – the first of many GITA chapters around the worls.
SII: Please briefly describe your work
CB: As Head of Impact and Sustainability at Pitango Venture Capital, my work is to adapt the world of ESG and SDG investing to mainstream VC. The idea of bringing impact investing to the mainstream has been a long-term vision of mine so this is an amazing opportunity to build the blueprint for VC implementation of impact practices. In parallel, I am active in building GITA, provide content and opportunities as chairperson of the organization.
SII: What particularly motivates you to make a difference?
CB: I have a vision of bringing the world of technology to impact our society and our planet and use tech innovation as a force for good. It’s been a passion of mine for the past 20 years and I have been very fortunate to be able to exercise this throughout my work during those years. There is a lot to do but I am very proud to pioneer this market in Israel and bring Israeli high-tech to the forefront of social innovation. I believe that we are global by design as well as by necessity, and that by working in international collaboration we will be able to reset priorities to make this world a better place.
SII: What positive impact do you see emerging through your activity?
CB: I am an agent of change with regards to the introduction of impact methodologies into the venture capital world, and the introduction of venture capital to the world of impact investing. I have been fortunate to pioneer the Israeli impact-tech eco-system, introduce the concepts of high-tech to the world of impact investing and work with the most amazing and inspiring individuals. It is truly inspirational to see the growth of this market with dedicated and passionate people.
SII: Please characterize your interaction with government and civil society.
CB: The Government and civil society are stakeholders for our work. Without the stewardship of the government, SDG investments will not flourish. Therefore, we have a lot of interaction with the Israel Innovation Authority and other government organizations. Civil society is the compass upon which we understand the needs in the market. In GITA’s work there will be a strong engagement with all local governments, particularly in light of the COVID-19 Relief funds. Also, as a member of the GSG Israel National Advisory Board, I am active in promoting impact investing within governments and civil society.
SII: What is your favorite project?
CB: Throughout the years I have supported entrepreneurs, investors and a wide range of individuals seeking to make the world a better place. I am working with amazing women leaders who support women in tech and entrepreneurship. I’m privileged to meet entrepreneurs who retain their talent and efforts to change the world on a daily basis. I’ve received the opportunity to work with some amazing investors who take responsibility for supporting this industry. I am in awe of them all and the opportunity I have been given to be a part of this journey. I love all projects alike.
More about Cecile Blilious
Previous to her current position, Cecile was the Founder and Managing Partner of Impact First Investments, Israel’s first impact investing company. Prior to that, she managed the Noaber Foundation’s Israeli investments and held executive positions as a founder, CEO and board member of several startups.
Cecile was also one of the initiators of the Al-Bawader private equity fund, the first investor in Arab-founded startups. She founded the mentorship program at the “Keren Shemesh” Foundation for the Encouragement of Young Entrepreneurs as her community volunteering work.
She is an alumnus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is an avid practitioner of Tai-Chi martial art.