General Partner & Co-founder
JFF Climate Innovations and Include Ventures
Taj Ahmad Eldridge is a 25+ year investment professional whose career has included high level executive roles in banking, asset management, alternative investments, and entrepreneurship.
Taj serves as Managing Director of Climate Innovations at Jobs For The Futures (JFF) where he’s leads a cross collaborative team focusing on the intersection of climate and workforce. The first project under Climate Innovations is the $25M 5 year project CREST funded by the Ares Managemrnt Foundation.
As a cofounder of Include Venture Partners , Taj focused on investing in diverse founders and fund managers who want to create innovative ecosystems in their areas - as geographic diversity is just as important as racial and gender diversity. Previously Taj served as Senior Director of Investments at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Taj has built a long standing career with expertise in the fields of fintech, media, energy, transportation, and the circular economy.
At LACI, Taj helped establish both the LACI Impact Fund I (LIF I) and the LACI Debt Fund to allow cleantech companies to grow with diverse capital. These funds utilize an equity impact lens to encourage invested companies to have environmental, economic, and social impact - particularly on increasing the number of underrepresented voices in the cleantech industry. In addition, Taj created programs such as LACI Investor Talks (LIT), the LACI Investor in Residence program, and the Player to CEO Athlete-Investor Impact Summit Series with JP Morgan Chase. Taj has been named one of the 53 Investors to Watch in 2021 by Pitchbook & 101 Black Titans in Tech while nurturing and building a team of investment activists.
Prior to LACI, Taj was the Director for the Incubator at the University of California in Riverside, California. During his tenure as Director, Taj’s team brought a $10M venture fund (Highlander Fund) to the Inland Empire - the first for the region. Because of Taj’s focus on blending entertainment, policy, and entrepreneurship, the region was named the #4 city in the United States for minority entrepreneurs via Entrepreneur Magazine.
Taj began his career as a banker and economist with Wells Fargo Bank, UBS Investment Bank, and TRW Investments. Taj has also been a Founder, Board Member, and Investor in companies such as NCX, Bevy, BlocPower, ILTG Media, Boswell Official Apparel, Voter, Xtopoly, Rookielook, iListen, KYC Hospitality, KIGT, Majira Project, CleanTek Capital and ConCreates. Taj also serves on the Climate Finance Advisory Team of the Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP), the Executive Board of the Homeboy Ventures Fund, The Majira Project, and Advisory Board of VC Include.
Taj has been profiled in publications such as Impact Alpha, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pitchbook, Forbes, GreenBiz, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more regarding his tireless efforts on achieving alpha while also advancing equity.
Taj has undergraduate degrees in poetry & literature and graduate geopolitical economics from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Pepperdine University, and Claremont Graduate University. Taj also studied abroad at The Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago, Chile, The Universidad Do Porto in Porto, Portugal, and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in Hong Kong, China.
Taj is an avid audiobook bibliophile and a lover of music of all genres.