Melissa Shahbaz Joins Lowden Street Capital as Junior Director

Updated: May 6, 2021

Rural Market-Focused Venture Capital Firm Expands Team, Anticipates Promising Investments in 2020

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala., May 1, 2020—Lowden Street Capital, a venture capital firm focused on rural market investing, has hired MBA candidate Melissa Shahbaz to serve as Junior Director, effective immediately.

Shahbaz joins Lowden Street after a decade of experience in petroleum engineering, having previously worked for Cawley, Gillespie & Associates, and multiple operating companies before starting her own consulting business. With degrees in physics from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., she will earn her MBA from Texas Christian University, focusing on investment finance, in May 2020.

“As a former small business owner, I know how important it is to set the framework of a company with transparency and hard work,” said Shahbaz. “I am looking forward to furthering the legacies of rural businesses in this country by helping these companies reach their full potential.”

Shahbaz is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas and a Level II CFA® candidate. She has a passion for valuations and understanding the meaning behind the numbers, and is excited to join the Lowden Street team to support bringing scaling and efficiencies to rural companies.

“As a former engineer, like myself, Melissa’s ability to adapt and assemble deals is a terrific asset to the Lowden Street team,” said Matt Bean, Lowden Street Capital Managing Partner. “Given the current uncertainty within local economies, Melissa’s personal and professional skill sets will greatly benefit our portfolio and our investors.”

Lowden Street Capital was born in 2015 when partners Ron Yu and Matt Bean researched, investigated and modeled a rural water company as an MBA side project. Even though the deal did not close, it was evident that businesses in rural communities were looking for buyers. Now located in Alexander City, Ala., the former home of Russell Athletic, Lowden Street is strategically focused on rebuilding and developing mature and startup businesses in rural markets. Lowden Street exists to get deals done and generate returns. Learn more at


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