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Dan appears in the Top 100 

Innovators & Entrepreneurs Magazine

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Dan Matthies, CFA, CAIA

Global Changemaker


In 2020, 205 execs, CEOs, and founders across 50 countries united to pursue a single mission: Improve the lives of one billion people, within this decade, by scaling innovations that change the world. Together, this diverse community of leaders co-founded Reaction, a global venture fund invested in tackling humanity’s toughest problems. Leading this effort is changemaker Dan Matthies.

“The pace of innovation is growing, but so are the biggest global issues. Innovations offering potential to address these often fail to reach markets they can help.  We founded Reaction to solve that problem.” 

Reaction’s movement continues to grow – ignited by a shared vision to improve more lives faster with innovation.  “To achieve that - we elevate innovators who are positively changing tomorrow.  Leaders have tremendous influence. If we can harness and organize that, we can make a difference.”

Reaction Partners are leaders who have seen success and want to give back, to form relationships with like-minded leaders, and to build something together they could not have on their own. 

Fast forward to today, Reaction has built a portfolio of global technology for health, sustainability, education, and AI that will meet or exceed its mission to improve a billion lives, within this decade.  

We met with Dan to learn more about Reaction, and why climate change is now squarely in their sights.

Why do you see climate change as the toughest problem humanity has ever faced?

Climate change is more multifaceted than any other problem, affecting every industry in every region. If we don’t solve it, the domino effect on health, food, and equality will be more destructive than anything we’ve ever seen.

Heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods are becoming more frequent and severe.  And it will get worse.  Younger generations will experience up to 7 times as many extreme climate events.

It’s highly personal to me as well.  My family loves being outdoors – and their joy has been compromised by unsafe air and record heat.  I feel my kids distress through their questions and prayers.  Depriving them of a safe planet is not the legacy we want to leave. 

The silver lining is that in every crisis lies an opportunity.   Many believe decarbonizing the global economy has enabled the world’s largest economic opportunity.  Trillion-dollar problems attract top minds and that will create the most valuable, and consequential, innovation wave of our generation.      

How is Reaction’s model different from other venture funds?

Reaction is first-of-its-kind.  Our Partner community offers global perspective, access, and influence – which allows us to think and act differently and, most importantly, to drive change – on a global scale. 

Our selection strategy is also unique.  We leverage a “smart beta” strategy to capture opportunities.  This term originated in public markets.  Stock picking began in the 17th century.  Sporadic results led to mutual funds in the 1960s.  Failure to beat benchmarks led to index ETFs in the 1990s.  Then smart beta funds progressed in the 2010s and have proven to outperform index funds.  We are extending these advantages to capture the next big innovation wave – in global sustainability.

How can investors do well by doing good?

We prefer “partners” rather than investors because the journey to success is never a straight line.  While there are many uncertainties in innovation, the more hands-on we can be, the more we can help founders navigate them.  Sharing in their success also means sharing in their journey, no matter what we encounter along the way. 

What do you enjoy most about your work, or what drives you?

The process of discovering innovations and helping them scale to regions they can change is very fulfilling. What drives me most, is to share pride with this incredible global community in what we are accomplishing together.  We’re literally changing the world.  At the end of this journey, that shared legacy will be our greatest reward. 

Dan Matthies, CFA, CAIA

Co-Founder & Managing Partner — Reaction, LLC


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