Melissa L. Bradley is the Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures (new window), a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth. Driven by purpose and with decades of hands-on experience, Melissa understands the importance of marrying the needs of the New Majority entrepreneur with access to capital, operational training, and relevant data.
As this core community of entrepreneurs has multiplied, their need for business development information at scale has also risen. To meet this market need and expand her reach, Melissa launched media and entertainment brand New Majority Ventures (new window), in partnership with Kinetic Energy Entertainment.
Melissa serves as General Partner of 1863 Venture Fund, Venture Partner at NextGen Ventures (new window) and as an advisor to Reign Ventures (new window), New Voices Foundation (new window), as well as the Halcyon Fund (new window). She is a board member of Ureeka (new window), a small business platform company she co-founded and sold, as well as Eat the Change, Motley Fool Foundation, and AEO. She is also a member of the Milken Institute (new window) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Asset Management Initiative, Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women Advisory Council (new window), Launch with GS Advisory Council, Fast Company Executive Board, Square & Forbes Small Business Advisory Team, as well as the Target Accelerators Entrepreneurs Advisory Council (new window). Melissa is the former Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (new window) and was named to the 2022 Forbes 50 Over 50 (new window) list for social entrepreneurship.
Melissa is a professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University where she teaches impact investing, social entrepreneurship, P2P economies, and innovation. Over the last two years, she was commended with the Peter W. Gonzalez, Jr. Award for Excellence in Adjunct Faculty Teaching and The Ideas Worth Teaching Award which celebrates exceptional courses that are preparing future business leaders to tackle society’s largest challenges and create a more inclusive, just, and sustainable version of capitalism.
Melissa's educational background includes graduation from Georgetown University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the School of Business and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing from American University in 1993.