One thing became immediately clear when Venture Capital Journal reached out and asked for recommendations for this, the second annual ranking of 40 Rising Stars in the VC community: 40 is a small number. We hope it’s also a powerful number. Forty is small number because we were overwhelmed with nominations. Nearly 170 people contacted us and submitted nominations for 150 candidates – 25 percent more than the 120 nominations we received the year before.
Suffice to say, it was a monumental task to cull the list down to size. There were a lot of standouts.
Many of the candidates, including the final 40, shared characteristics. The Rising Stars were often heralded for helping their firms grow – such as the up and comer at 137 Ventures who has recruited LPs, including a local NBA basketball player, to invest in its fund.
Many of the candidates are spotlighted for reaching out to the community and helping those around them.
You’ll notice that a few of the 40 Rising Stars are involved with BLCK VC, an organization that connects and advances Black representation in venture capital. Last year, we named BLCK VC’s co-founder, Frederick Groce, as one of our Rising Stars.
This year’s list is also a bit more international than last year’s, with Rising Stars stretching from Indonesia to Israel. And even if they are based in the US, many have remits beyond their own borders, so we truly believe this list represents the current state of up and comers in the VC community. That is why we believe that 40 is a powerful number. We hope you enjoy this year’s Rising Stars. They have demonstrated noteworthy leadership, innovation or dealmaking skills. We imagine they will drive the VC community to new heights in the years to come.
Rising stars, visualized
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This year’s list of 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 are based on peer nominations and recommendations. Qualities that Venture Capital Journal looked for are how they contributed to the success of their firms and the VC community. In breaking down the list, the average age was 32.4, with the youngest age 24 and the oldest 39. The gender breakdown has 22 males and 18 females. The list includes up and comers, such as associates, principals and others from VC firms who we identify as ‘Next Generation VC.’ We also have founding VCs, LPs, CVCs and attorneys.
Anil Achyuta | 36
Achyuta is a founding member at TDK Ventures, a $50 million deep-tech corporate venture fund and part of TDK. Before helping to launch it in 2019, he held leadership roles at such Fortune 500 companies as L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. What makes him stand out is a passion for investing in fundamental sciences. In just over a year, he has closed five of the 10 deals that TDK Ventures announced (Autoflight, Genetesis, Origin, Exo and GenCell), but he also finds time to mentor and help others. “From the very beginning of my own venture capital journey, Anil has been one of the most helpful and welcoming guides,” wrote a VC peer who nominated Achyuta. “He prodigiously shares his knowledge and experience. I’ve actually recalibrated my investment process as a result of my conversations with him.”
Medha Agarwal | 32
In terms of thought leadership, Agarwal has written about and hosted events on the topic of fintech tools for the CFO. Her recent Medium pieces discuss opportunities for innovation in finance, as well as advice for entrepreneurs building a company – a topic she has experience in. Prior to Redpoint, she founded Roomidex, a social roommate-finding website. Since joining Redpoint in 2016, Agarwal has made several investments, including Tend and Anvyl and a stealth networking company. In addition to dealmaking and serving as a partner for entrepreneurs, when anyone talks about Agarwal, it’s rare that her positive energy and contagious enthusiasm aren’t brought up.
Brentt Baltimore | 32
Baltimore is a Kauffman Fellow and co-lead of the Los Angeles chapter of BLCK VC. In addition to serving as a principal at Greycroft, he specializes in enterprise software deals, and has led Greycroft’s investments in Mapped, Agni, Craft, and Smrt, among others. Prior to joining Greycroft in 2017, he led business development at Operator and worked on technology commercialization at Numenta. He also was an associate at Detroit Venture Partners. He began his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse in Los Angeles.
Mark Blackwell | 32
Blackwell leads the Canadian office at Builders, where he has spearheaded all of its fundraising efforts. The firm says he’s helped raise about $75 million from key Canadian LPs. Earlier in his career, he worked in the tech investment banking division at CIBC World Markets and as a business development analyst at Enbridge, an energy transportation company. He also founded Despacho, a virtual executive assistant outsourcing company in India that has scaled to 11 employees in the past several months. Blackwell has led 10 investments at Builders since the launch of Fund II, including GoFor, which ramped up sales to $1.4 million a month by June 2020. Builders says Blackwell is instrumental in helping with a number of key thought leadership pieces on food and agriculture, including a piece on refining food in a post-pandemic environment.
George Brooke | 29
Brooke focuses on fund and direct investments across North America and Europe at CPP Investments. He joined the firm in January 2020 and moved to California to help open its San Francisco office and build out its venture strategy. He’s now part of a four-person team responsible for covering the pension fund’s $1 billion VC portfolio, including relationships with Sequoia Capital, Accel, Index Ventures and Y Combinator. Previously, while a senior analyst at Greenspring Associates, he covered more than 40 VC funds and companies and launched new ESG and microfund strategies. At the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust, he was responsible for adding new VC relationships, including Redpoint Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Meritech Capital and Battery Ventures.
Michael Chou | 32
Chou is the youngest managing partner in the firm’s history. Three years ago, he started Day View Capital, his own growth equity fund, which Riverside acquired to become its Technology Capital Solutions vehicle. Riverside has historically focused on PE, but Chou is leading the firm’s expansion into growth equity. An investor says that Chou and his team have quietly produced two of the top-performing venture capital funds, with net IRRs in excess of 60 percent and actual realizations. He may be under the radar, but some of the firm’s high-profile investments include Anaplan, Databricks, Datadog, JFrog, Snowflake, UiPath and Unity.
Randall Clark | 36
Clark made partner in January 2020 after building substantial company and investor practices. Recent notable investor clients include Tiger Global, IA Ventures, Gigafund, Tekfen Ventures, Trust Ventures, Equal Ventures and Plexo Capital, among others. Beyond that, Clark is a leader both within the firm – heading its diversity and inclusion efforts – and at the NY office, where he serves as the hiring partner. He is the first Black partner in the firm’s New York locale, and the second Black partner in the firm’s history. Separately, in October 2020, he organized an online summit of 46 Black investors, founders, executives, lawyers and other thought leaders, with the goal of working together toward a more just and equitable future for Black VCs and entrepreneurs.
Kapil Desai | 29
Desai is a well-rounded investor. At Catalyst, he identifies markets, develops theses, sources relevant companies, and has joined the board of several of those companies. The firm says he is relied on to add value to portfolio companies, helping with tactics and strategy, working with finance and budgeting and capital formation as well as positioning. Overall, Desai has deployed more than $100 million in capital in new investments and follow-ons, including BrightFarms, where he serves on the board and which has raised more than $200 million in funding to date. Desai also writes about foodtech, specifically on the area of restaurant tech.
Annalise Dragic | 28
At Sapphire, Dragic focuses her work on analyzing new investment opportunities and assisting portfolio companies, primarily in Europe and Israel. The firm says she is integral in its continued push into the European market, and she has more recently looked at investments in fintech infrastructure and open banking startups. Since joining in early 2020, she has been involved in the firm’s investments in Adverity, Cazoo, Contentful, Currencycloud, Matillion and Wandera. She has penned a handful of thought leadership pieces on the Sapphire blog, including looking at what’s next for European fintech. In October, she participated in an investor workshop alongside other high-profile VCs on raising from US investors in a post-covid environment.
Caitlin Fitzmaurice | 37
University of Virginia Investment Management Co
When nominating Fitzmaurice, an industry peer said she is one of his “favorite up and comers” in the LP community. Fitzmaurice is co-head on the venture capital portfolio and serves as a member of UVIMCO’s investment committee. She is involved in all aspects of the investment process, looking at venture capital and growth-equity investments. Prior to joining UVIMCO in 2014, she spent three years as an investment director with Cambridge Associates, where she advised several universities and non-profit foundations on asset allocation, manager selection, and portfolio management of their endowments.
Christian Garrett | 28
Head of platform
Garrett is a connector-at-large and jack-of-all-trades. His main focus on the investment team is sourcing, business development and relationship management. Since joining 137 Ventures in fall 2019, Garrett has used his network to source new deals and LPs, including a university endowment and Andrew Wiggins from the Golden State Warriors. Most notably, he sourced and co-led the investment on a fast-growing and undisclosed next-gen defense company. He also sourced and co-led an investment in an enterprise AI company. Before joining 137 Ventures, he worked at Caerus Investment Advisors, where he conducted diligence on SpaceX and Luminar Technologies. Prior to that, he played basketball for four years as a student-athlete at the University of Kansas, winning four Big 12 Championships and going to The Final Four in 2011.
Krishna Gupta | 33
CEO and founder
Gupta is one of the first young VCs to run his own firm and, as a result, many emerging VC founders often solicit his advice. He started REMUS (formerly Romulus) from his dorm room at MIT at the age of 21 in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis. He says his first fund generated a 4x profit. He was the first check in at Ginger.io and Presto, and the first institutional investor/board member in Cogito Corporation, Allurion Technologies and Ceres Imaging, among others. He recently launched a Black Entrepreneur in Residence program at REMUS as a way to counter racism against Black founders.
Jamison Hill | 31
Bain Capital Ventures
Hill joined Bain Capital Ventures in 2014 after a two-year stint at men’s fashion retailer Bonobos, where he helped build the brand’s analytical capabilities across finance, retail and marketing. He brings that operational experience to his investing at BCV, working hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs in the e-commerce, fintech and consumer tech sectors to help them build their companies. His investments include Cameo, Finix, Wonolo, SendGrid and FlyWire. The firm says he is committed to increasing the representation of Black investors and entrepreneurs in the tech industry and devotes time outside of work to mentoring underrepresented founders. He is a board member at Build.org, which promotes entrepreneurship among youth.
Lily Huang | 28
New Enterprise Associates
Huang focuses on healthcare services and medical device companies at NEA, and has become an integral contributor to the firm’s med team. She is also a board observer on several companies, including for Aetion, Docent Health, Paladina Health and Welltok. General partner Mohamad Makhzoumi says she “has a tremendous ability to uncover high-potential investments” and was influential in the advancement of Paladina Health, especially during the firm’s acquisition of the company in 2018. The company has continued to grow during the pandemic, having recently acquired Healthstat.
Karamdeep ‘Karam’ Nijjar | 38
Nijjar has more than 15 years of experience in software development and investing, specializing in B2B software and marketplaces. His work over the last 10 years has laid the groundwork for much of the firm’s footprint in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto regions. Chris Arsenault of iNovia calls Nijjar a rock star who is responsible for bringing in “a ton of high-profile VC-backed companies.” Since joining in 2010, Nijjar has served as a director or observer on Chango, Vidyard, Top Hat, Clearbanc, Clearpath Robotics, StreetContxt, Fellow and Rubikloud. Nijjar also currently serves as an advisor and LPAC member for Garage Capital, a pre-seed fund established by several iNovia portfolio company founders, and he is an active member of Waterloo Alumni Angels.
Tanya Kemp | 39
Managing director – private markets
San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System
“The best way to learn is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you,” says Kemp. She has been part of the team responsible for investing San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System’s private equity portfolio since 2008. She became a senior portfolio manager in 2012 and was named interim managing director of private markets in 2018. SFERS manages a $3 billion portfolio, investing in VC and other assets. Kemp’s focus is on venture and growth opportunities, with responsibilities that include investment research, portfolio construction, sourcing, manager selection, fund due diligence, legal negotiations and portfolio monitoring. She was previously an investment risk and performance analyst at Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System.
Jennifer Lee | 32
Lee joined Edison in 2016, was promoted from vice-president to principal in 2019 and currently leads the firm’s fintech practice, which has backed Fund That Flip and Bipsync, among others. She was a recent speaker at the conferences Finovate and LendIt Fintech. She started her professional career at ForgeRock and was the first sales executive of the company. She then went to the Associated Press, overseeing VC investment prospects and strategic business development opportunities. The firm calls her a force in the fintech industry and a role model for other women. She participated in strategic meetings in Washington, DC with the Treasury Department to provide perspectives for the Fintech Industry Report, urging the treasury secretary to review current financial regulations that are limiting economic growth.
Shaun Lee | 27
Mubadala Capital – Ventures
At the firm, which is the VC vehicle of a $250 billion sovereign wealth fund, Lee focuses on fintech, software and autonomous tech investments in North America. He is the youngest investor on the team, but has an expansive network of contacts who have proven instrumental. Founders and other investors credit Lee for bringing in key individuals to the fundraising table. Some of the more competitive deals in 2020 he’s worked on include Waymo (autonomous driving program of Google), Brex, Embark Trucks, Balbix, mmhmm and Portworx (acquired by Pure Storage). In terms of thought leadership, he wrote in late 2019 about banking-as-a-service, which became a hot topic in 2020.
Jack Leeney | 35
Managing partner and co-founder
7 Global Capital
An investing peer wrote that Leeney has a track record of accomplishments at the $100 million firm he co-founded, which invests in growth-stage internet business. Select exits include Hims & Hers and Cheddar. 7GC is in the process of raising Fund II. Leeney serves as a director at The Mom Project, a female remote work-oriented company and an ESG investment. 7GC led the company’s recent $25 million Series B round. He’s also involved in SPACs, serving as a director at PropTech Acquisition Corporation SPAC, which recently announced its intention to combine with Porch.com.
Jessica Lin | 33
Co-founder and general partner
Lin focuses on investments in the future of work and jobs and is passionate about growing and supporting women in enterprise tech. She launched the firm’s Navigate Women in Enterprise Tech Summit and its Founders of Enterprise Startups (Who Are Women) Database. She has sourced and led Work-Bench’s investments in Catalyst, Spring Health, RippleMatch and Leapfin. In the New York tech scene, she is known for launching Work-Bench about eight years ago and hosting up to 200 events per year across conferences, workshops, meetups, dinners and more. She also speaks regularly at events and conferences about women and diversity in enterprise software, is regularly called upon by the media for comments on D&I and publishes content on the Work-Bench blog.
Lily Lyman | 35
An East Coast native with Silicon Valley experience, Lyman joined the Boston firm in 2018 as a principal and made partner in early 2020. She was previously with Facebook for three years, and launched a consumer agtech start-up while at Stanford University. At Underscore, she has led investments in digital transformation, commerce, insurtech, future of work and AI/ML. Notable deals include: Hi Marley, Macro and PopCart. She also contributes to the firm’s Startup Secrets, an online collection of guidebooks and video workshops to help entrepreneurs.
Sara Mattern | 34
Mattern serves as general outside counsel to clean energy, tech and life sciences emerging companies, including early-stage formation and structuring matters, venture financings and acquisitions. In her previous role, she was a renewable energy consultant to assist early-stage climate-tech companies. The law firm says that in the previous 12 months, she has led two transactions for Kula Bio to raise more than $13 million. As investments in cleantech continue to rise, Mattern is seen carving out a lane in the burgeoning area of ocean sustainability. The firm says her expertise in renewables is providing it with a competitive advantage. She is also a member of several organizations, including New England Women in Energy and the Environment, and the Women’s Energy Network, where she spoke on a recent panel discussing the future of electric vehicles.
Madison McIlwain | 24
Formerly a product manager at Gap, she built the retailer’s first chatbot and then spoke about this deployment at Salesforce’s annual conference, Dreamforce, at the age of 23 in 2019. Since joining Defy in early 2020, she has sourced companies across e-commerce infrastructure and consumer experiences, including the marketplace Thrilling. The firm says her experience with e-commerce and supply chains led her to publish a content piece on Medium, called Gen Z Trends Impacting Supply Chain Technology. “Amidst the ‘retail apocalypse’ and ever-shifting consumer behaviors, it is invaluable that big and small companies alike leverage innovative technology to disrupt themselves,” she says. She also launched a podcast called The Room, which interviews founders and funders. And if her name sounds familiar, her dad is Matt McIlwain from Madrona Venture Group.
Colin T Mistele | 35
Mistele joined the firm’s Menlo Park office as an associate in 2011 and has built a strong track record in the process. The firm says he has played an active role in investing nearly $555 million in capital across 18 Summit portfolio companies, including Advanced Cell Diagnostics (acquired by Bio-Techne Corporation), InfoArmor (acquired by Allstate Corporation), Jamf (IPO), Reverb (acquired by Etsy), TSheets (acquired by Intuit) and Uber (IPO), among others. The firm says he has developed a keen talent for identifying growth-stage companies. At Summit, he takes an active role in mentoring and training the firm’s next generation of investors, and is involved in its recruiting efforts, helping to lead Summit’s associate training program each summer.
Mina Mutafchieva | 35
Mutafchieva focuses on fintech, sourcing early-stage European start-ups that have the potential to expand globally. She joined UK-based Dawn in 2019, but has led the recent investments in Access Fintech, Cleanshelf and Eigen Technologies. The firm says she
has an eye for investing, which is “underpinned by a relentless work ethic and systematic and rigorous approach to analyzing companies.” She is active on the events circuit, including recently speaking at Fintech Talents. The firm says: “Mina has brought an undisputed level of professionalism to Dawn, not just in terms of process, but in how the team approaches the software, revolutionizing how businesses, from enterprises to SMEs, operate.”
Zvika Orron | 38
Before joining the early-stage firm five years ago as the youngest GP in the group, Orron was co-founder and CTO of Lifebeam, an AI wearables technology company. At Viola, he has led such investments as Immunai, a company founded by Harvard, Stanford and MIT alumni that aims to map the immune system and has signed agreements with several large pharma companies. He led investments in two companies led by semiconductor veterans in Israel: proteanTecs, an AI-based chip health detection company, and Speedata, for which firm details are still in stealth mode. Viola says Orron represents the new generation of VC in Israel, in which deep tech knowledge is combined with business acumen. He also established Israel’s first-ever Semi Summit to gather hundreds of investors and entrepreneurs in the country’s semiconductor industry.
Amit Patel | 37
In the past six years, Patel has sourced and led a number of successful deals at the edtech-focused venture firm, including Thinkful (which was sold to Chegg), BYJU’s (India’s most valued edtech company) and WhiteHat Jr (acquired by BYJU’s). When the firm’s LPs conduct due diligence, they hear outstanding feedback on Patel from entrepreneurs and fellow VC and PE funds that co-invest with the firm. He is “passionate about furthering the digitization of education globally,” often speaking about his investment thesis, authoring numerous articles, and speaking on a variety of panels on the edtech sector.
Morgan Polotan | 33
Polotan is a core member of the investment team leading Genacast Ventures, the seed-stage fund within Comcast Ventures. He focuses on early-stage enterprise and frontier technology start-ups. The firm says that Polotan is early in his investing career but has made a big impact on growing the seed investing operations at the firm, particularly on the East Coast. He spends a lot of time studying how new technologies could reshape markets and shares this knowledge regularly with the broader CV team. Prior to joining Comcast Ventures, he worked at Bloomberg Beta and spent time as a software engineer at Tapad.
Nicholas ‘Nick’ Procaccini | 32
Procaccini is a rarity in venture, making partner at 137 Ventures in five short years after joining as a summer intern in 2014. Prior to making partner, he led the diligence process for 137 Ventures’ five largest investments: Wish, SpaceX, Flexport, Gusto and Curology. More recently, he led a follow-on investment in Wish and new investments in RigUp and an unannounced company in the consumer health space. Before joining the growth-stage VC firm, Procaccini worked for three years as a senior analyst at the UNC Management Company. He was on his way to getting an MBA at UC Berkeley when he was offered a full-time job at 137 Ventures following a summer internship. Looking back, he’s glad he skipped business school. “Getting an MBA was supposed to be my ticket into venture. Turns out, I was lucky to have been offered a more direct path.”
Katie Reiner | 25
Before joining the consumer-tech VC firm, Reiner spent two years at Lead Edge Capital, where she led consumer investing. The firm calls her an entrepreneur at heart, and says she came to Torch with an entrepreneurial streak. In high school, she launched a food marketplace that sent excess food from restaurants to homeless shelters. As a sophomore at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, she founded Companion, a peer-to-peer mobile safety app that grew to two million users and won a grant from the university. She has overseen multiple initiatives at Torch, including the development of Torch Talent Connect, a jobs database to help people who have lost employment because of covid-19.
Chase Roberts | 32
Vertex Ventures US
Prior to joining Vertex, Roberts was at Box, where he grew the first major reseller partnership to nearly $30 million in annual sales, landing brand-name customers. At Vertex, he focuses on early-stage enterprise tech investments and has published several guides to help early-stage founders navigate sales and better understand such topics as when and why to launch a freemium model. The firm says he has more than doubled its dealflow in the US since joining in 2019. He sourced and led his first deal in under six months for Evisort. Vertex general partner In Sik Rhee says: “Chase has amazing qualitative attributes, so we decided to take a bet on him as he had no prior investing track record. He’s proven to quickly build relationships and become a champion for the founder early in the process.”
Matt Robinson | 34
Robinson was promoted to principal in 2020 after three years as a vice-president. He has worked on five investments in infrastructure software at TCV: Cradlepoint (recently acquired by Ericsson), Silver Peak (acquired by HPE), Venafi, Vectra and HashiCorp. TCV says that Robinson is a great supporter of the US heartland, including Idaho-based Cradlepoint. As for lessons learned, he says: “Look for the meaning in what you do in your career. It’ll give you the persistence and horsepower to keep you going during challenging times.”
Ashley Suhalim | 27
Suhalim manages a team of four investment professionals at Intudo, and she is closely involved with the firm’s investments, including Tanihub and Pasarpolis. At Pasarpolis, a micro-insurance platform in Indonesia, she played a critical role in managing the relationships with the syndicate of co-investors to close the Series B financing. The firm says that Suhalim is on a fast track to be a star in Indonesia’s venture capital scene. “Not only does she possess significant intellectual capacity to excel in her role, but also the emotional bandwidth to handle the ups and downs along the way. She is bright, open minded, and eager to learn.”
Earnest Sweat | 35
Sweat is a founding board member of BLCK VC. A fellow board member says that “BLCK VC wouldn’t exist without Earnest.” At GreatPoint, he focuses on enterprise technology with an emphasis on automation, and is credited with going above and beyond to identify market opportunities from his network. In his time in VC, he has supported or led more than 15 deals, including unicorn start-up Flexport, as well as Airspace Technologies, Wise Systems, FreightWaves, Platform Science, KlearNow and Sendoso. One of the co-founders of Wise Systems says: “Earnest helped us in understanding the competitive landscape. Earnest thinks differently and more creatively than other investors we’ve talked to.”
Peter Teneriello | 30
Texas Municipal Retirement System
Teneriello has demonstrated a personal commitment to venture capital and his work building the venture portfolio at TMRS. He is one of a very small number of LPs invited to join the Kauffman Fellows. He is also developing his own investment thesis and thoughts on the industry as one of the few LP bloggers, writing in a transparent, authentic voice. In his blog, called Limitless Partner, he takes a personal and quantitative view of the venture asset class and the requisite returns for institutional investors. His work constructing the venture portfolio at a large public institution also stands out. TMRS worked with the Foundry Group to gain valuable exposure to some of the best early-stage managers and recently backed Flagship Pioneering.
Laura Thompson | 38
Thompson has more than 10 years of experience, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in tech-focused venture funds domestically and internationally. She regularly shares her perspectives and best practices on fund operations via OpenLP.com, a community platform supported by Sapphire that aims to bring transparency to GP-LP relations. Since joining Sapphire in 2018, her main focus areas have included investing in tech-first venture funds, and she has been a leader in strengthening Sapphire’s analytics and benchmarking platform to enhance the overall value delivered to fund managers and their portfolios. Her articles have been featured in the Kauffman Fellows Journal, with recent posts including ‘Virtual Annual Meetings are Here to Stay’ and ‘What Makes a Good Annual Meeting? An LP’s Point of View.’
Emily Walsh | 37
Walsh joined Georgian in 2016 and the executive leadership team in 2020. Recent deals have included Vention, Tractable and Reonomy. In addition to her investment and portfolio work, she also leads Georgian’s ESG strategy, including community partnerships, such as Canada Learning Code. Prior to Georgian, she worked for McKinsey and completed her MBA at Cornell University in 2014. Before starting her business career in New York, she trained as a professional dancer at Juilliard School of Dance. The firm says she is a champion of culture at Georgian. “She is an incredible role model and always takes the time to set others up for success while her calm yet powerful way of communicating motivates everyone she works with.”
Marie Weijler | 29
Cottonwood Technology Fund
Weijler focuses on early-stage tech and hardware at Cottonwood. In 2019, she became the first Dutch woman on the investment team of a hardware venture capital firm. As of October 2020, she was still the only Dutch female hardware investor. In 2018, she helped raise €25 million for UnifiedPost, Belgium’s fintech unicorn, which went public in September 2020, raising €252 million. Amid a pandemic, she attracted several family offices as new LPs last year in Cottonwood’s third fund. She also actively encourages women and people from minorities without STEM degrees to consider careers in venture capital or tech. The firm says she is “a cheerful and positive role model, always emphasizing how much she loves her work and helping others.”
Kathryn Weinmann | 30
Norwest Venture Partners
Weinmann joined Norwest as a summer intern in 2017 while she was getting her MBA at Stanford University, where she led the High Tech Club, which connects students with educational and career opportunities in tech. She made full-time in 2018. To date she has sourced $40 million in investments at the firm, including Memphis Meats (Series B) and Senreve (Series A). She’s also a board observer at Senreve, Wyze Labs, Learn to Win and Praxis Labs. The firm says: “She’s a deal execution machine, helping drive some of our top-performing investments. But she truly shines with her strong executive presence.”
Jillian Williams | 27
Before joining Anthemis, Williams was part of the investment banking division of Barclays in New York, helping a range of companies go public and raise capital in the public market. At Anthemis, she is considered a talented and skilled investor and is the youngest investment principal on the team. She currently serves as a board member for an unannounced insurtech company, and she is a board observer for six companies across the portfolio. In 2019, she led the launch of the Female Innovators Lab, a venture studio partnership between Anthemis and Barclays that looks to support female founders in the fintech space at the earliest stages. She also serves as the head of BLCK VC in New York and has been an advocate for achieving parity across the industry.