Brian Ross is the founder of startup Infrashares that allows individual investors to participate in P3s.
InfraShares is an online crowdfunding startup that raises private equity and debt investment in public infrastructure projects including renewable energy, toll-roads, bridges, mass-transit, etc. built through Public-Private Partnerships (P3’s) between governments and private developers.
Brain Ross founded Infrashares in 2015. A reserve officer with the Army Corps of Engineers, he brings 10 years of experience in civil engineering, construction management, and infrastructure finance. He offers insights about his startup to Icons of Infrastructure.
IOI: How did you get into the infrastructure sector?
Brian: My father is a structural engineer and I grew up visiting jobsites with him so I chose to study construction management in college.
IOI: What was your first job?
Brian: During the Summer I worked as a union laborer for Granite construction and decided that heavy/civil construction was my preference over commercial construction.
IOI: Did you think you were going to be an entrepreneur?
Brian: Yes, I’ve always wanted to run my own business. In general, I am a risk seeker and I prefer being in control of my own destiny even if it exposes me to a lot of risk.
IOI: So how did you start Infrashares?
Brian: The idea came from my experience working on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) where community engagement was major risk and investment opportunities were limited to institutional investors.
IOI: And what is Infrashares?
Brian: InfraShares is an investment crowdfunding platform that allows individual investors to participate in the financing of P3s. This offers increased community engagement and decreased cost of capital for the project sponsors and provides investment opportunities for individuals that want to support specific infrastructure projects.
IOI: What were your main obstacles when launching Infrashares?
Brian: The main obstacle has been getting risk adverse public agency decision makers to take a chance on a new and innovative financing method.
IOI: What is unique about your startup?
Brian: InfraShares is the first platform for infrastructure financing that provides cost efficiency, economic impact, and community engagement by allowing Main street to invest alongside Wall street.
IOI: What are your near-future plans?
Brian: Near-term we plan complete our first crowdfunding campaigns in the US and begin to explore global investment opportunities with a specific focus on the infrastructure investment needs in the developing world.