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Meet Stefania Di Bartolomeo of Physis Investment in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stefania Di Bartolomeo.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was studying finance at university, I began to disconnect from I was learning.  I could not believe that something good like the origin of investment (borrowing money from those that have it and lending it to those who need it to create economic value) was indeed so corrupt. The financial crisis of 2008 happened during my sophomore year and strongly influenced my perspective. The capital market was not run in a way to encourage economic equality.

After taking some sabbatical time and backpacking around the globe, I returned to school to earn my degree. I had one mission in mind: find a way to combine investment and sustainability principles to make this world a better place.

The principle of sustainability is to generate value that contributes to the wellbeing of the people without compromising resources for future generations.

After graduation I worked in the field of sustainable finance, first as a researcher, then as an analyst, and then as a fund manager. I loved my job. I felt I was making an impact. However, I also felt I could make a bigger impact. I left my job, driven by the desire to find a way to allow everyone to become a sustainable investor, and to make a difference towards a more equal world. That was just the beginning of an exciting journey. Just a few weeks later, I began to structure my thoughts on something more concrete and Physis Investment was born.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I had a job I liked, and I loved the firm and my colleagues. It was hard to explain my decision to friends, family, and colleagues.

A founder’s journey is a lot of things, a greal deal of excitement combined with ups and downs.  It is not smooth. You need determination to make your ideas come true in a competitive world where people don’t see what you see. Your first struggle is how to convey effectively what you are doing. It is necessary to communicate in an empathic, convincing and professional way to employees, advisors, and investors. The second struggle is to learn to handle rejection with an open-minded approach. Every rejection is a learning opportunity, a way to understand what you are not providing potential customers or investors to fulfill their needs. Often, when we talk about innovation we believe we are always open to it, but in practice, human nature is frightened by uncertainty.  With new ideas comes a lot of uncertainty.

Please tell us about Physis Investment.
Physis Investment is an online platform where everyone can invest in sustainable companies with as little as $200.

The word Physis comes from ancient Greek and means ‘the world of life on our Earth.’ Therefore, the name Physis Investment reinforces the concept of investing by respecting the people and the planet.

At Physis, we believe that the capital market is a powerful platform from which it is possible to make the significant changes that will have enormous positive impact. We want everyone to make money and at the same time make this world a better place. Every investment, even small ones, can make a difference. And with Physis, you can quantify your impact. We do more than just report on financial performance. We track investments at a 360° rotation, providing evidence of the environmental and social value generated with the money you have invested. The question we ask is, “There is so much to know about your investment that has never been told before, aren’t you curious?”

We want people to know that you do not have to sacrifice financial return when you invest in companies that do good. Sustainable investments outperform the market. Sustainability has proven to be a competitive advantage to broaden efficiency, innovation, and achieve growth.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory is when every day, after finishing my homework, I would put on my rollerblades and skate all around the neighborhood until dinnertime.

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1 Comment

  1. Ken

    May 20, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    This is a very interesting story. Looking forward to seeing what happens with your platform.

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