Benjamin J. Vann is a passionate advocate of social and economic justice, especially for disadvantaged and marginalized groups. His work with impact investors, venture capital funds, Fortune 500 companies, universities and foundations has been viewed through the lens of addressing the world’s most pressing social and economic problems. Benjamin is the Founder and CEO of Impact Ventures, a 501c3 startup accelerator with a mission to empower talented, yet under-resourced women and entrepreneurs of color to build generational wealth through inclusive entrepreneurship and integrated capital. Since 2017, Impact Ventures has impacted nearly 3500 people through community networking events, hackathons, workshops, and summits. Since 2020, IV’s flagship accelerator program has train 120 founders and 84 companies to collectively raise $6.5M, create 130 jobs, engage over 150 mentors, and offer over 3300 hours of training and mentorship. Recently, Impact Ventures launched the inclusive Capital Fund, Texas’s first integrated capital fund investing for economic justice. The fund provides flexible small business loans and patient equity investments for women, black, and latinx lead enterprises across the state of Texas.
Benjamin brings 13 years of professional expertise in finance, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and impact investing, combined with deep grass root social sector experience in community organizing, civic engagement, and non-profit governance. Previously, he held leadership positions in Finance at Good Returns Group, a global social enterprise startup working to transform corporate philanthropy through impact investing and micro-lending. He worked as the North Texas Philanthropy Officer at The Trust for Public Land, Fidelity Charitable, managing the world’s largest Donor Advised Fund, and financial roles within Fidelity Investments.
As a dedicated servant leader, Benjamin currently serves as the District 7 appointed City Planning Commissioner of the City of Dallas and the Dallas Morning News Linz Award Nominating Committee. He previously served as an executive board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Dallas Chapter, The Dallas Foundations Good Works Under 40 Selection Committee, City of Dallas appointee to the South Dallas Fair Park Opportunity Fund, South Dallas Fair Park TIF Board, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Anthem Strong Families, DISD Innovation Design Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA), and Aspire — Fidelity Investment Regional African American and Latino Employee Resource Group. In 2015, he launched the Dallas County Civic Alliance, a citywide Get Out The Vote initiative that resulted in registering over 10,000 residents in Dallas County. He is also a member, volunteer and supporter of the DFW Urban League Young Professionals, NSBE DFW, and The NAACP Dallas Chapter.
Benjamin has received a number of awards and recognition by both regional and national media and news publications. He was named Top 500 Most Powerful CEOs in Dallas by DCEO Magazine and 40 under 40 by Dallas Business Journal. He is a Fellow the leadership council of the SMU Hunt Institute of Engineering Inclusive Economies Consortium (IEC), a 2021 Just Economy Institute Fellow, a 2020 Boston Impact Initiative Fund Building Fellow, and was named top 50 Future Innovators of DFW in 2020 Dallas Innovates Magazine. He is also a 2018 World Economic Forum Global Shaper Fellow, Partner at Dallas Social Venture Partners, 2016 Dana Juett Social Venture Resident, and 2015 Mayor’s Star Council Alumni. In 2019, he was nominated for Cosign Magazine’s Tech Innovator and Public Figure of the Year Award, as well as Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017. Awarded DFW Urban League Business of the Month, In 2016, he was featured in the 3rd and 4th edition of Who’s Who in Black Dallas Publication, In 2015, he awarded 40 under 40 Future Leaders in Dallas by i10 Magazine, named top 28 #BlackDFWMatters influencers, and featured on the cover of Be Great Magazine, Dallas Millennials Edition.
Benjamin is a Midwest native of Wichita, KS and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Washburn University, where he was also a standout Defensive Back. Benjamin also played professional football in the Indoor Football League (IFL) for the Kansas Koyotes and was the Defensive Coordinator at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Ks. He is a self-taught musician of four instruments, avid vinyl collector, and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.