picture of Diane Schrader

Diane Schrader

Founder & CEO, THIRDact

Diane was raised in an era when girls were told they could do anything. She has been at it ever since. She grew up with natural strenghts in math and art. In pursuit of a career in animation, Diane studied figurative painting at San José State. Most influential was being in the Silicon Valley. There were no computer science classes for artists, so she taught herself to code, and joined the budding 3D computer graphics industry. Her technical skills led her to Autodesk, which was launching a new 3D animation platform for the games industry. Though she began as a technology evangelist, her ideas seeded a new global business for training and education, products and services, which she led for almost a decade.

When she left Autodesk, stock options in hand, she realized that she knew a great deal about developing a business, but little about the capital markets. Building on her experience, she began to explore the similarities in the graphical nature of price charts. Within a few years, she had developed a systematic trading platform for index futures, launched a family office and was leading 100 Women in Hedge Fund’s San Francisco chapter, for which she now serves on the Board of Directors.

Drawn to opportunities with an enviornmental impact, Diane recently l aunched THIRDact, a real estate marketplace that enables micro investments in small commercial properties. Their focus is to fund energy efficiency improvements, with the goal of reducing energy consumption in the largest segment of commercial building stock in the nation.

In Diane’s spare time, she advises startups with a strong mission. She is deeply involved in the finance/cleantech industry, speaking at such conferences as Behavior, Energy and Climate Change, The National Adaptation Forum, and the SALT Conference, as well as numerous 100 Women in Hedge Fund events. In support of young women in STEM, she has led workshops for Design Your Future, sponsored by Autodesk, and spoken for the non-profit She Heroes, which introduces middle school girls to women executives in tech. She’s a member of the US Green Building Council and is an advisor to Prospect Silicon Valley and Hackers/Founders.