Infrastructure allows societies to thrive. But too often, whether because of funding constraints or political in-fighting, development of roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, water systems, and more is ignored until a crisis occurs.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Report Card estimates that nearly $4.6 trillion of investment is needed in the U.S. alone. Enter Brian Ross, founder of InfraShares, a crowdfunding platform allowing individual investors to champion infrastructure projects worldwide. The first opportunity, a roadway in Virginia constructed using a novel pothole-resistant material, was fully funded in two weeks.
Ross, who worked as a project manager for a large construction firm and earned a master’s in construction engineering management from Stanford, grew interested in infrastructure after leading more than 30 combat missions building roads, bridges, bases, and checkpoints in Afghanistan as part of the California Army National Guard.
“Seeing how critical infrastructure is to the development and security of societies helped focus my passion around figuring out ways to help develop infrastructure around the world,” he says.
Upon returning home, Ross joined a private equity firm focused on public- private partnerships and pursued his Berkeley MBA to explore alternative funding streams for infrastructure development. While he grows InfraShares, Ross works as the owner and managing principal of Ross Infrastructure, the consulting and engineering firm he founded in 2017 with clients including EY, KPMG, and Deloitte. Balancing two companies can be difficult, but Ross is committed to seeing InfraShares succeed.
“InfraShares is my vision and passion,” he says. “It’s where I can have the most impact.”