By Alex Konrad and Lilly Knoepp
A new generation of founders looking to build the next Facebook or Uber are shaking up tech. These leading young investors of the 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital in 2018 provide the funding and support to get them there.
This year’s group of up-and-coming venture capitalists hail from the nation’s biggest and oldest venture capital firms and have started their own. They’ve created organizations to empower under-represented entrepreneurs and helped others bridge the gap from China to the U.S. They’re immigrants and Bay Area lifers, early stage experts and growth stage gurus. And with a 10 women and 15 people of color in this year’s class, both record numbers, they represent the faces of a rising new guard of venture capital that’s shattering the stereotype of the Silicon Valley power broker.
The 30 Under 30 Venture Capital class of 2018 is led by Talia Goldberg, the youngest-ever vice president at America’s oldest VC firm, Bessemer Venture Partners. A former liberal arts student who worked stints at Foursquare and Simple Finance before trying her hand at her own startup, Goldberg signed on with Bessemer for what she expected would be a two-year stint. Five years later, she’s a rising star at the firm at age 26, having co-led the firm’s investments into Korean payments company Toss and shipping startup Shippo in 2017, and working with portfolio company Pinterest to identify startups for the the social networking company valued at $12.3 billion to parter with or acquire.
Goldberg is joined on the list by a record number of fellow female investors from a colleague at her own firm, Anna Khan, to several who’ve launched projects of their own. Lisa Wang, 29, is the founder and CEO of SheWorx, a global network of female founders looking to close the gender gap in tech and tech investment. The former four-time U.S. national champion in rhythmic gymnastics hosted events that brought together 600 female entrepreneurs with 100 female investors in 2017.
Elizabeth Galbut, 28, cofounded SoGal Ventures with Pocket Sun in 2016. The two have backed more than 43 startup companies. Rei Wang, 29, holds down the fort at Dorm Room Fund, the university-focused fund backed by First Round Capital. As its only full time employee, Wang has her hands full: she oversees a portfolio including 151 companies and manages 36 student investors across 19 universities.
(Photo by Jamel Toppin for Forbes)
Brayton Williams, 28, has blazed a trail in a different way. He’s cofounder of Boost VC, a sci-fi tech firm he launched with Adam Draper through which he’s invested in more than 200 companies —more than 75 of them involved in cryptocurrencies, and more than 60 in augmented or virtual reality. Companies he’s backed have since gone on to raise $1 billion in follow-on funding.
Other investors on the list are helping their founders — and their firms — navigate the closer ties developing between China and U.S. Internet companies. Olivia Wang, 28, has led at least 15 deals for Chinese seed fund ZhenFund and opened up two offices for it in the U.S. Wei Guo, meanwhile, has backed more than 200 companies through UpHonest Capital and Wei Fund. The 29-year-old investor wants to help entrepreneurs think more globally.
They’re joined by talented investors from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, NEA and Sequoia Capital. As they’ve also proven through their diverse backgrounds, these resourceful young VCs have found a range of routes to early success.
What do you think of the list? Join the conversation on Twitter with #30under30
More Info: www.forbes.com
Categories: Money Matters