Getting personal with Jenna Bryant

The co-founder and CEO of Embedded Ventures talks Beyoncé (her childhood hero), grilled cheese and tomato soup, and making the Moon the 51st state.

Most venture capitalists are on AngelList, but Jenna Bryant is among the very few who can be found on IMDb, the Internet Movie Database. She didn’t set out to be a VC. Halfway through college, she moved from Alabama to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a dancer and actor. She has appeared on several TV shows, including Sleepy Hollow, The Detour and Halt and Catch Fire. In between acting gigs, and armed with a bachelor’s in fashion design focused on computer-aided design, Bryant began working as a tech recruiter to help pay the bills.

Recruiting suited her because of her outgoing nature, and she quickly carved a niche pairing engineers with deep-tech start-ups. Bryant’s success as a recruiter caught the attention of Riot Ventures, which hired her as a partner at the tech investor in 2018. After about two years, she got the itch to start her own firm and teamed up with longtime friend Jordan Noone to start Embedded Ventures in 2020. Their space-focused firm has invested in six companies and held a first close on its debut fund, which is targeting $100 million.

What do you think about most every day?

Outside of work I’m thinking about my family, my dog [named Monkey], my cat, my two goats, my six chickens and my 18 snails.

If you could pass one law, what would it be?

Make the Moon the 51st state.

Who was your hero as a child?

Beyoncé, by a country mile. [Bryant has a section of her website entitled “In case Beyoncé sees this” with a collection of dance videos.]

Most important thing on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?

I’ve always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro.

Favorite travel destination?

Colorado. I grew up skiing with my family, so I go any chance I can to experience the nostalgia and adrenaline rush. It’s the best of both worlds.

Will you retire early, late or never?

I’d like to have the option to retire early but not take it.

Favorite activity outside of work?

Definitely dance. I converted my garage into a dance studio.

Favorite food or dish?

Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

What’s the most unusual thing in your home?

I have a sasquatch statue that I dress up for holidays and special occasions. I’ll place it around corners of the house sometimes just to scare people.

If you had a warning label, what would it say?

Probably: caution, high voltage.