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Young Billionaires Seek VC Investing That Improves the World -- and Turns a Profit


At this weekend's Nexus Global Youth Summit, a gathering of uber-wealthy men and women under age 40, the focus was on social entrepreneurship.

Inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars virtually overnight is something most people wouldn't exactly have a problem with. But it wasn't all fun in the sun for Zac Russell, who took on responsibilities commensurate with his enormous net worth. Whereas some of his wealthy friends were content to travel the world and have fun, Russell spent the five years after college graduation attending "next generation" philanthropy and investment conferences – not exactly the most exciting pursuit for a guy in his mid-20s.

No doubt about it – the Nexus crowd is as serious as a bunch of under-40s can get. But they manage to have fun at their conference as well. Each night of the conference, attendees proved that they work hard and play hard by partying in some of New York City's hottest clubs.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the summit was when Kevin Salwen, author of The Power of Half (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), told the crowd that he sold his multimillion-dollar Atlanta home and gave half the money to charity. "My wife and I were self-absorbed, consuming Yuppies," he said. "Up until that point we knew how to invest money, but not in a way to bring about social change."
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