Testing & developing my interest in early-stage - (‘16-17)
- My interest in venture capital stems back to when I was in grad school in London.
- I got to ‘work’ with Accel during my graduate studies because they were looking for a student to source leads to sub-let their office in London.
- I offered to do the lead gen work for free as long as I could ask her a few questions for a few mins every time we spoke.
- While I didn't do actual VC, Laura could attest to my interest in venture back then (she gave me the job + was gracious enough to vastly over-pay me for my work).
LinkedIn & Europe - ('17-9)
- I got in touch with founders who sold their first business to Spotify and were building their next company (seed by Mark Cuban). Got in touch & worked for them part-time while being employed at LinkedIn full-time for 1.5 years as the only non-eng employee.
- I built a (small) micro-portfolio on crowdfunding platforms (Seedrs/Crowdcube). Hit & misses but enjoyed having 'skin in the game'. Learned a fair bit and was probably a bit too keen on it because it was the first time I received stable paychecks (after mainly minimum wage jobs during college).
Move over to SF - ('19 - present)
- Experienced Silicon Valley for the first time and moved over to product and realized two things if I wanted to become a half-decent angel investor in the future so focused on…
- Increasing my knowledge & network: Apart from my work networks, I decided to be part of the On Deck + Reforge communities.
- ‘Acting as a VC’: Started reaching out to friends/colleagues who started building their own companies and offered to help in any way - intros to investors in my network, early MVP feedback, volunteered to be a beta tester, social media cheerleading, etc.
- In some ways, I feel like I do portfolio support to the founders that I know - especially with fundraising, intros, and hiring. As a result, I have a small group of early-stage founders who could be references for how I’ve helped them in small ways:
- Fundraising: I’ve made dozens of intros to people that I think could be good founders from my network to investors (references see the last page).
- Hiring: My experience in hiring marketplaces has always made me have a keen interest in helping to get people hired and I believe it's an understated way of how you can really help someone (references see the last page).
- And like I said in my intro - If I picked the one thing I’m really interested in and want to learn more about - it’s the early stages of entrepreneurship when founders have a lot of open questions (pre or minimal product, users, revenue).
Appendix: Founders I've helped in (very) small ways
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