Program: VC Unlocked at Stanford University, May 2015 cohort
Current role: Co-founder & Managing Partner at SoGal Ventures
How did VC Unlocked help you break into the industry?
The venture capital industry can be intimidating and not transparent from an outside perspective. Fifty percent of the program participants were female and my classmates were from 15 different countries. I actually resonated with other VCs, for the first time. It felt as if we were a think tank creating new ideas with a diverse and global perspective. My now business partner Elizabeth Galbut and I met at the program, and were inspired by the experience to build a venture capital firm that helps diverse millennial entrepreneurs grow billion-dollar global businesses.
What was the most important takeaway from the program that you implemented afterwards?
Some great advice we took from the program includes:
- Don't wait in vain for the VC industry to change for you. If you want to see change happen, lead the change and be a pioneer yourself.
- Blog about venture capital! You'll stand out because so few women are writing about the topic.
- Instead of putting $50,000 into your first deal, convince 10 founders to let you invest $5,000 each. This is how you get the most experience at the smallest check size.
How did VC Unlocked impact your confidence as an investor?
It validated my previous learnings about venture capital and gave Elizabeth and I the idea to start a fund of our dream from scratch. It's definitely a much tougher path than working for someone else's VC firm, but it's the best thing we've ever done.
What advice do you have for aspiring VCs who are considering the program?
Make the most out of the Silicon Valley and global connections you'll meet, boldly test out your thesis and ideas, and keep these relationships going.