Ben Jealous, the former NAACP president who was the Democratic nominee for governor last year, said Tuesday that he is starting a Baltimore-based investment firm named 20X.

Jealous, who left California-based Kapor Capital in December, said he will serve as chairman of the new firm, which will focus on “social impact investing and advising” in the areas of technology and real estate.


Jealous said 20X will build on his work at the NAACP and Kapor, where as a partner at the firm he helped it find small companies working on social justice issues in need of seed money.

As a venture capitalist, Ben Jealous invested in education and social justice firms. Some were successes. At least one ran into trouble.

“It’s taking the style of social impact investing at Kapor and my work at NAACP and trying to change the status quo,” Jealous said of the new firm. He said news of partners in 20X would be forthcoming.

His first client is Citizen, a mobile application that provides crime and safety alerts to residents of New York. The app’s Baltimore launch is set for Wednesday.

Jealous lost his bid for the governor’s mansion in November to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

With nearly 1.3 million ballots cast in his favor, Hogan got the most votes ever by any Maryland governor, eclipsing Martin O’Malley’s record from eight years prior. Jealous garnered more than 1 million votes.

A mobile app called Citizen that provides users with real-time alerts about crimes and other emergency situations in their immediate surroundings, will launch in Baltimore on Wednesday, said CEO Andrew Frame.