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EVCA Newsletter | October Edition - The Latest VC Jobs, News, and Events
As we approach the end of the year, the general state of the economy is looking rather grim. News feeds increasingly hum with reports of the latest tech layoffs. Public markets are in a slump, triggered by the Fed’s most recent interest rate hike to control runaway inflation. More than half of Americans (56%) already believe that the United States is in a recession.
Yet amid all these stories of economic woe, venture capitalists have been sitting tight, seemingly waiting on the sidelines. Compared to the FOMO-driven boom of funding a year ago, they have adopted a new disciplinarian investment approach that prioritizes selectivity over speed of deployment. The reason for their relative state of collective calm is that venture capital funds have stockpiled a massive $290B in dry powder. Of this, $162B is reserved for new investments. Even while the economy sputters, VCs are sitting on ample cash reserves to weather the potential storm. With such a massive chest of dry powder, VCs remain in a favorable position to keep the wheels of innovation spinning, one investment at a time. Tough times are coming ahead, but, at the very least, we as an industry are ready.
And with that bit of introductory fanfare, welcome back to this edition of the EVCA newsletter!
Meet Vidya Raman, Partner at Sorenson Ventures
We had the chance to interview Vidya Raman, who is a Partner at Sorenson Ventures. Vidya shares her origin story—from starting her career as a software developer, leading product management at tech darlings like Cloudera and Silver Spring Networks, and, in her most recent chapter, investing in emerging enterprise startups as a Partner at Sorenson Ventures. In her interview, Vidya also shares her thoughts about life and career.
This month we highlight Zhou Zhang of Corazon Capital and Nishant Singh of Playground Global as our featured investors of the EVCA community.
Zhou Zang is a Senior Associate at Corazon Capital, where she focuses on investments in early-stage companies spanning marketplaces, health and wellness, consumer-facing tech, and urban tech. Prior to joining Corazon Capital in 2019, she was a strategy consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, where she focused on growth strategy and M&A due diligence projects for corporate and private equity clients across retail & consumer, healthcare, and technology sectors. Zhou received her MBA with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and has double majors from The University of Chicago in Economics and Geography. Zhou currently lives in Chicago, where she has built a mini urban farm in her high-rise apartment living room. She loves browsing art and architecture, playing racket sports, and exploring new food.
Nishant Singh is a Venture Investor at Playground Global, an early-stage VC firm investing in emerging technology and science. He grew up in a family of builders–engineers, designers–and has always been fascinated by how the “stuff we build” can be scaled and commercialized in the real world. He is drawn to companies that challenge the state of the art in critical industries by integrating breakthrough technologies in unprecedented ways. That can mean applying novel automation/AI tools to new verticals, developing technologies that scale our ability to compute and manufacture, or fostering a stronger connection between Earth and Space. Prior to joining Playground, Nishant spent time as an engineer, consultant, founder and researcher at places like Bain, Flinks, Columbia and one of Canada’s leading think tanks in economics and public policy. He has degrees in Computer Science and Economics from McGill University.
EVCA Leadership Spotlight: EdTech Vertical Lead, Susan Wang of Learn Capital
This EVCA Leadership Spotlight Series is intended to help the broader community get to know what's going on behind the scenes at the EVCA, as well as highlight the valuable contributions of the roughly 50 individuals across the venture capital industry who make the EVCA possible.
Susan Wang is a Principal at Learn Capital, where she is responsible for sourcing, researching, evaluating, and supporting companies changing the ways we learn and work. Prior to joining Learn, Susan was a Senior Manager on the Strategy & Ventures team of Sesame Workshop, the creator of Sesame Street and other children’s educational programming. There, she worked on growth and strategic planning projects, and helped manage Sesame Ventures, the venture arm of the company that invests in mission-aligned early-stage kids-oriented startups. Susan began her career in investment banking at Credit Suisse after earning her BCOM and BA in Math at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. She has since worked in Toronto, Shanghai, New York City, and San Francisco. In her spare time, Susan enjoys reading, learning, running, singing, and journalism.
What We’re Reading
Here we share our favorite content produced from EVCA members across the world:
The Environmental Era - Meera Clark of Redpoint Ventures, breaks down the consumer-facing climate world into three primary buckets — conscious commerce, residential retrofits, and transportation transformation
The Non-Obvious Emerging LP Playbook - David Zhou of On Deck Angels, creates a playbook for how to pick great GPs to back
Sorry But...Biotech Does Not Scale - BowTiedBiotech pulls back the veil on how biotech VC funds are constructed to deliver returns for investors and delves into the venture capital math of it all
Product to VC: In Their Words - Brian Nguyen of Springbank Collective and Kesar Varma of Upfront Ventures, interviewed 8 partners and investors at top VC funds across the US to learn how they were able to make the switch and make the most of their product backgrounds to become better investors
For LatAm payment orchestration startups, market fragmentation is a blessing in disguise - Rocio Wu of F-Prime Capital, dissects why one-click check out hasn’t worked in the US, why LatAm might present a bigger opportunity and the current state of play
Venture Capital 2.0 — the revolution of Machine Learning & Data-Driven VC - João Nunes of Included VC, does a deep dive into the potential of Machine Learning in Venture Capital and insights from the funds currently paving the way for the industry
Succeeding in Venture Capital is Mostly About Knowing What to Buy. But When To Sell Matters Also. - Hunter Walk of Homebrew VC, shares his thoughts about secondary transactions
NYC chapter private tour and reception at Pace Gallery and the NYC Tech week party | TBD in October | Hosted by EVCA | Details will be posted in #networking-nyc
Best Practices in Managing & Leveraging Side Letters in CVC Investments | October 6 | Hosted by NVCA and King & Spalding
Misinformation & Disinformation: Technology Factors and Potential Solutions | October 11 | Hosted by Austin Forum
The UK & Latin American Technology Showcase | October 12 | Hosted by the British and Colombian Chamber of Commerce
Discussion of "The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything" | October 20 | Hosted by Austin Forum
Fireside chat with Chris Sacca and his partner Clay Dumas from Lowercarbon Capital | October 21 at 1pm PT | Hosted by our #climate-tech community leader, @Thomas Englis (Clearvision Ventures) | You can RSVP in the #climate-tech channel
Venture Capital Panel: Investment and Latest Innovations in Media Tech | October 26 | Hosted by Idea to IPO
Spotlight on Nashville | October 26 | Hosted by NVCA
VRARA Healthcare Forum 2022 | October 28 | Hosted by the VR/AR Association
The Future of Electricity | November 2 | Hosted by Austin Forum
2022 NVCA Strategic Operations & Policy Summit | November 2 | Hosted by NVCA
Analyst / Associate Role in New York, NY at Kli Capital. If interested, reach out to Juliette at Juliette@klicapital.vc
Vice President Role in Boston, MA at Silversmith Capital Partners. If interest, contact Dana Sun on the EVCA Slack Channel
Associate or Senior Associate Role in Menlo Park, CA at Clearvision Ventures. If interested, submit a resume and
cover letter to Thomas Englis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance & Strategy Sr. Associate or Manager Role in Toronto, Ontario at DreamCrew. If interested, reach out directly to email@example.com
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