Archive Of The Category ‘Events‘


Inspiring Woman Founders

Crystal Brown

Crystal Brown, CEO,

Montcalm believes in woman founders. Women are creating amazing and unique solutions that address global challenges and market needs. Yet, startup capital is not flowing fast enough to these founders. 2.2% of venture capital funding goes to women.

We are changing this by partnering with inspiring women to empower them to reach success. Montcalm has built a series of services to support effective capital raising and brings a robust ecosystem to ensure success.

We are proud to spotlight Crystal Brown, CEO and Founder of Healthiest, Montcalm’s inaugural woman founder and the first in a long pipeline of talented women we are partnering with. We love Crystal because of her spirit, her passion, and her persistence. She’s both visionary and strategic, and simultaneously independent and collaborative. She has an important idea and is out to change healthcare in a fundamental way.

Crystal Brown accidentally discovered herself as a community organizer and agent of systemic change.

When her first child was about to enter kindergarten, California implemented massive school budget cuts. Crystal knew kids were going to suffer. So she used her community volunteer connections and, together with six other women, founded “Educate Our State,” a grassroots education lobby that mobilized 1 million moms and dads to speak up for education.

From this experience, Crystal had two major takeaways:  one – she discovered she is a master organizer, and has the natural ability to mobilize people behind issues. Two – the real influence in government is held by businesses with a lot of money. She resolved to run a company that would have the clout to change legislation and policy.

Previously, Crystal had 12 years of experience in healthcare. She thoroughly understood the mismatch in incentives and where the best interests of patients were not being served. Crystal realized this was the issue area where her confluence of expertise and genius could have the most impact.

The vision for Healthiest was born, as an education and resources platform for natural healing. It would empower people to manage their own health, develop personalized treatment plans, and save expensive office visits for when they were really needed.

The question was, where to start? After extensive research and talking to numerous customers and investors, Crystal and her team settled on the Healthiest browser extension, which coaches consumers real-time as they shop and provides them with healthier alternatives to the products they are considering purchasing. Crystal’s research uncovered a huge and growing demographic of tech-savvy, globally-conscious consumers willing to pay more for healthier products, if only they had the right information at their fingertips. These customers are 100% enthusiastic about the modern tech solution Healthiest provides.

Crystal had met Holly Ruxin of Montcalm many years earlier. She had watched Holly leave Wall Street and launch her own private wealth management firm in 2012. One day at Blue Bottle Coffee, Holly outlined her vision for a different way of funding companies, where incentives are aligned, with transparency and collaboration. Crystal knew that this was a solution that was desperately needed.

Fast forward to 2019, after pivots and experiments by both Healthiest and Montcalm, the two women decided to collaborate. Montcalm had built a platform of capital raising services to work alongside founders to fund their dreams. Healthiest was ready.

The best part of working with Montcalm, Crystal says, is “having passionate, bright, experienced partners who care deeply and help me figure out how to move forward. I love the team, and their due diligence confirmed what I already knew but now gives us credibility with investors. It’s so helpful to have a home.”

“Initially, when I first started Healthiest, I didn’t want to identify myself as a woman founder. But I was wrong. No matter how strongly I present myself as a CEO like any other, the world sees me as a woman CEO. We women need to help each other and figure out models to scale that help.” In keeping with her genius for seeing solutions where others see obstacles, Crystal is feeling called to solve the problem of enabling women entrepreneurs to be successful. We at Montcalm are at her side.

Meanwhile, Healthiest continues rapid progress toward Crystal’s dream of a comprehensive natural healing platform. They are building the biggest existing database of products and ingredients. They are building their customer base. They are scoping other pieces of the solution in the ecosystem. Once Healthiest crosses their tipping point of revenue from their browser extension, they will be able to build the whole platform and change healthcare forever.

The world needs solutions from all kinds of people. We are changing the flow of capital to make sure important ideas make it into the marketplace. For more information, check out Montcalm Capital.

An Interview with Dave Cooper

Social Venture Circle sat down with Dave Cooper to talk about investment philosophy, investing in companies using debt instead of equity, and why VC Money is not the only funding available (contrary to popular belief). Read on to learn more from Dave about what other funding options are available for mission-driven companies.

The complete interview is here.


heart leadership

Authenticity and integrity, values which emanate from the heart, form the foundation of how I lead. This is quite different from the reigning value system in finance, created from a place where the head is dominant. When the head dominates, we tend to get a system based on maximization of profit with less consideration of the costs to individuals, society and the planet. When the heart leads, we get a holistic system where everyone prospers.

Many studies have demonstrated that human beings have three brains: the head, the heart and the gut. In Western civilization we focus on the head, because somewhere along the way we decided that was the most important. But actually our heart and gut are very smart brains, and when we follow them, we can be a lot more grounded in our decisions. I believe the head exists to serve the heart and gut. And this is exactly how I have built the businesses at Montcalm TCR, Montcalm Capital and Trevor TCR. I use my investment training to ensure my decisions are financially sound, but they are grounded in deep intuition.

I spent 20 years of my career on Wall Street leading from the head. I learned money leads, power leads and resume leads. And I was trained to be good at it.

When the markets declined in 2008 and my son become severely disabled, I began to deeply question both my own values and the values of the larger system. I certainly was never dishonest before, but I had been taught that money matters above all else. After personal exploration and asking many questions, what surfaced for me was a model of leadership that resonated for me and the birth of my own wealth management firm centered on the heart.

I opened Montcalm to give, not extract. We generate trust in financial systems because we are designed to be of service. I wanted to create something founded on a different set of values that would provide investors with diversified investment options, offer companies healthier sources of capital and regenerate our planet in the process.

On the wealth management side of my business, we engage with every client in a personalized way to understand their values and motivations and build investment portfolios that reflect their hearts and financial needs. On the capital side of my business, my cofounder and I co-create investment vehicles that serve a dual purpose as a customized capital source for each portfolio company and as a solid investment choice that balances risk, reward and accessibility for investors. And through our foundation, Trevor TCR, we invest in society through grants to organizations that meet the needs of the underserved. When you give, you connect to the flow of abundance.

My goal in finance is to reengineer the financial system to one where everyone leads from the heart. We can do that by empowering people with their money, moving them out of a mentality of fear and into abundance. That is what will really shift humanity. And at Montcalm, we are doing our part to lead by example.

Photo credit: Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash


In 2008, two significant events changed the course of my life. Capital markets, where I worked for 20 years, started falling apart – and my five-year-old son stopped talking and walking.

I have loved capital markets since my first internship on a currency trading desk in London, which led me to become a fixed income derivatives sales trader at Goldman Sachs. When the markets fell apart in 2008, my experience in capital markets helped me to understand that we were on a financial precipice. The financial system was in fact a house of cards and it was coming down due to many poor decisions that were mostly predicated on money and power.

Read more here.


Read as David Cooper describes the personal and financial journey that led him to partner with Holly Ruxin and co-found Montcalm Capital:

Growing up, I didn’t have a lot. My mom was a teen when she gave birth to me and had not yet finished high school. My youth was spent largely on my own as a latchkey kid since my young, single mom was always working to support us. I’ve always had to be resourceful from a young age in everything I did, like working nights and weekends to put myself through college. The scrappiness and sense of responsibility that pervaded my youth is intimately connected to what I later discovered was my life’s purpose: getting capital into the hands of impactful companies, often overlooked by mainstream investors, in order to shift the status quo to build a better world. I’m passionate about moving the world from an old economy model, based on extraction, power and self-interest to a new one where the core values are well-being and abundance for all.

Read more here.

The Sustainable Finance Podcast: Introducing the Montcalm Capital Fund

We are delighted to present Holly’s most recent podcast introducing Montcalm Capital and the launch of its first fund.

“Montcalm Capital introduces an investment that provides regenerative environmental impact and building blocks for a circular economy. We are building a new socio-economic model: how society interacts with capital flow can allow us to get resources to amazing companies doing amazing work.”

Listen as Holly discusses the global financial movement that Montcalm is building and explains Montcalm Capital’s new role at the forefront of financial innovation.

Interview with SCN Corporate Connect

Holly talks sustainable investing with Gregg Greenberg of Small Cap Nation

Terri Mead podcast “Piloting Your Life”

Episode 45 – Holly Ruxin explains her journey to creating a wealth management company that invests in alignment with values

Rethinking How Capitals Flow: Creating Sustainability

As a panelist, Holly shares her thoughts at the Quantum Impact and Digital Frontier Collaboratory in NYC, hosted by Thomson Reuters and Fifth Element Group.

Keynote: An Elegant New Business Model

Innovative Ways to Finance an Evolving World