Home / Tech / Meet the 25 rising stars in venture capital coming of age during Silicon Valley’s longest bull run in recent history

Meet the 25 rising stars in venture capital coming of age during Silicon Valley’s longest bull run in recent history

Cherry Miao

  • It’s never been better to be an investor in Silicon Valley, with blockbuster IPOs and direct listings returning a good profit to early startup investors.
  • Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, like Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins, have brought on new faces to help keep their edge during the longest market bull run in recent history.
  • Meet the new faces of venture capital’s rising stars. While these individuals range in title and focus area, all have been working in venture capital for five years or less.
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It seems that, in 2019, there’s never been a better time to be in venture capital. 

The first half of the year was marked by blockbuster public debuts and the continuation of privately funded mega-rounds. Funding events like these are making household names of Silicon Valley firms and the partners on the deals, not to mention a hefty profit.

But as venture investors continue to look for the next big thing, many of the biggest firms are looking to younger partners and firm employees for help. So Business Insider asked those firms, what does the next generation of venture capital look like?

These 25 rising stars are poised to make names for themselves in everything from biotech and enterprise security to scooter startups and media companies. While these individuals range in title and focus area, all have been working in venture capital for five years or less.

Meet Business Insider’s 25 rising stars in venture capital.

Read More: The legendary Andreessen Horowitz partner who worked on its Facebook and Airbnb deals shares his best advice for entrepreneurs trying to strike it big in Silicon Valley

SEE ALSO: As tech valuations soar, early stage startups are increasingly turning to debt to raise cash

Nina Achadjian, Principal at Index Ventures

Nina Achadjian joined Index Ventures in 2017 from Google, where she previously led financial planning and analysis. At Index, Achadjian focuses on enterprise software investments that are taking on some of the biggest names in tech.

She is also the founder of HIVE Ventures, a seed-stage investing firm that focuses on funding Armenian entrepreneurs. The Harvard University alum started her career in high frequency trading at Citigroup.

Racquel Bracken, Vice President at Venrock

Racquel Bracken joined Venrock as a Vice President in May 2016 to focus on investments in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Prior to Venrock, Bracken was an early employee of Clovis Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company focused on small molecule therapies.

The Harvard University grad started her career in investment banking at Easton Associations and Domain Associates.

Annie Case, Investor at Kleiner Perkins

Annie Case joined Kleiner Perkins in November after leading strategy and operations at Uber. Since joining Kleiner Perkins, Case has participated in the firm’s investment in Modern Health, a mental health provider startup.

The Stanford alum joined Bain & Company as a consultant in San Francisco after graduation, where she focused on private equity and technology.

Josh Coyne, Investor at Kleiner Perkins

Josh Coyne joined Kleiner Perkins in 2017 to invest in enterprise software and consumer internet companies. In the two years he has been at the firm, Coyne has participated in deals across mobile gaming, fintech, and mail-order dental care.

Coyne, a Cleveland native, graduated from Boston College and worked for Qatalyst Partners prior to joining Kleiner Perkins. 

Frederique Dame, Partner at GV

Frederique Dame joined GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, in 2018 to lead the corporate venture fund’s consumer investments.

Prior to joining GV, Dame led product teams at Uber, photosharing startup SmugMug, photo social site Photobucket, and Yahoo. Dame angel invested in various startups before joining GV full time, and started her career as a financial analyst.

Monica Desai, Investor at Kleiner Perkins

Monica Desai joined Kleiner Perkins’ New York team in 2018 to focus on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and financial technology investments.

The Harvard Business School alum splits her time between the Bay Area and New York to focus on Series B opportunities, and has participated in Kleiner’s investment in student loan management startup, Pillar.  

Mike Duboe, Principal at Greylock Partners

Mike Duboe joined Greylock Partners, Reid Hoffman’s venture capital firm, in December to focus on investing in retail-specific artificial intelligence startups and media companies. Before joining the firm, Duboe led growth at fashion subscription startup Stitch Fix and saw the company through its IPO.

Duboe has also advised entrepreneurs through accelerator Y Combinator. The University of Michigan grad started his career at Bain & Company.

Megan Holston-Alexander, Senior Associate at Unusual Ventures

Megan Holston-Alexander joined Unusual Ventures, an early-stage technology investment firm, in April 2018 to help build the firm’s consumer investing practice.

The Stanford Business School grad interned with Lightspeed Venture Partners, YouTube, and Foundation Capital before joining the Unusual Ventures team. She graduated from Clark Atlanta University and received her masters in sociology from the University of Houston.

Fatima Husain, Principal at Comcast Ventures

Fatima Husain joined Comcast Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of telecom giant Comcast, in May to lead the fund’s early stage investments consumer internet startups. According to her LinkedIn account, Husain is particularly focused on healthcare startups and solutions for sharing economy workers.

Prior to joining Comcast Ventures, the Yale University grad led product growth at vacation rentals startup Airbnb.

Zak Kukoff, Associate at Emergence Capital

Zak Kukoff joined Emergence Capital in April 2018 to focus on developer tools and future of work for the enterprise software focused firm.

Kukoff is a serial entrepreneur and was the youngest founder ever backed by startup incubator TechStars when he went through the program in 2011 at 16 years old. Since then, he’s founded Autism Ambassadors, published a book, and was honored by the Clinton Global Initiative.

Peter Lauten, Deal Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Peter Lauten joined Andreessen Horowitz in May 2016 as a deal partner focused on enterprise applications. He has sourced, diligenced, and supported a variety of the firm’s investments, including email management tool Superhuman, customer management tool People.ai, and legal startup Atrium, among others.

Prior to Andreessen Horowitz, the Duke University alum was an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank

Aneesha Mehta, Principal at Bain Capital Ventures

Aneesha Mehta joined Bain Capital Ventures in 2017 to focus on healthcare investing. In her current role, Mehta works across all aspects of the investment process including sourcing, due diligence, transaction execution, and portfolio company support.

Mehta spent 3 years as a public equities investor at Fidelity Investments in Boston before joining Bain Capital. Before Fidelity, The Brown University alum spent time interning in healthcare consulting at Decision Resources Group and in a strategy role at a mobile healthcare startup in India.

Cherry Miao, Vice President of Growth at Accel

Cherry Miao joined Accel from portfolio company Lightspeed HQ in October to focus on financial technology, machine learning, and future of retail startups.

She was an early employee at payments startup Lightspeed HQ and helped the company scale from 60 to 600 by spearheading two major international acquisitions and raising more than $250 million in venture funding. The Harvard alum began her career in private equity.

Alex Pruden, Deal Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Alex Pruden joined Andreessen Horowitz as a deal partner for its crypto fund in April. Prior to arriving in Silicon Valley, Pruden spent nearly 10 years in the United States Army Infantry & Special Forces and completed three tours in the Middle East.

According to the West Point graduate, his experience working side-by-side with oppressed communities in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria was the inspiration for his career transition into crypto.  

Andrew Reed, Partner at Sequoia Capital

Andrew Reed joined Sequoia in 2014 to focus on growth-stage investing across consumer, enterprise software, and fintech. He was involved with Sequoia’s 2015 Series B investment in open source tool GitHub, and over the last 12 months has led Sequoia’s investments in travel startup Tourlane and design tool Figma.

Prior to Sequoia, The Amherst College alum worked at Goldman Sachs.

Brian Rothenberg, Partner at Defy.vc

Brian Rothenberg joined Defy.vc, an early-stage venture capital firm, after leading customer acquisition at events startup Eventbrite.

Rothenberg is not new to investing, having angel invested in several startups during his tenure in Silicon Valley and scouted startups for Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, and First Round Capital, but will bring operational expertise to Defy.vc’s growing portfolio of consumer and enterprise startups.

Vivek Saraswat, Investor at Mayfield

Vivek Saraswat joined Mayfield in July 2018 to focus on early-stage enterprise software and infrastructure startups. In a July 1 blog post reflecting on his first year as an investor, Saraswat compared his role to the fictional Alfred of the Batman comic series, describing himself as “using experience and values as a guide while quietly working in the background to get things done.”

Prior to joining Mayfield, Saraswat led product development at infrastructure startup Docker, VMWare, and Amazon Web Services.

Julia Schottenstein, Principal at NEA

Julia Schottenstein joined NEA in 2016 and has since sourced and led NEA’s investments in open source enterprise startup Metabase and identity startup UnifyID. In addition to serving on the board of those two companies, the Stanford alum also serves on the board of threat detection startup Sentry, and was involved in several other investments across the firm.

She joined NEA after starting her career as an analyst at several financial firms in Switzerland, New York, and California’s Bay Area.

Philipp Seifert, Senior Associate, Sapphire Ventures

Philipp Seifert joined Sapphire Ventures as a member of the growth investment team in 2017 to analyze and perform due diligence on new investments. Seifert worked on several of Sapphire’s data analytics investments, such as DataRobot, InfluxData, Matillion, Phoenix Labs, project44, and Reonomy.

Prior to joining Sapphire Ventures, the Rice University grad worked on IPOs and M&A at Goldman Sachs

Carlotta Siniscalco, Senior Associate at Emergence Capital

Carlotta Siniscalco joined the Emergence Capital investing team in 2018 and was named a Kauffman Fellow, a prestigious 2-year leadership program for venture capital investors, in June. She focuses on insurance and fintech startups at Emergence in addition to advising on international investments.

Siniscalco graduated from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and received her MBA from Stanford Business School before going to Goldman Sachs as an analyst. 

Amy Sun, Partner at Sequoia Capital

Amy Sun joined Sequoia Capital in February 2018 to invest in growth-stage startups in the autonomous driving and wellness industries.

Before joining Sequoia, Sun held product marketing roles at some of the biggest names in technology like Microsoft and Facebook. She was also an early employee at Uber where she worked on driver growth, international expansion, and marketplace pricing. 

Stephanie Terpening, Senior Associate at Accel

Stephanie Terpening joined Accel in July 2018 and focuses on enterprise software and security business investments. She has worked on Accel’s investments in insurance startup The Zebra and international payments startup WorldRemit.

The Notre Dame University grad and former Rent the Runway intern came to Accel from Financial Technology Partners in San Francisco.

Louisa Xu, Partner at IVP

Louisa Xu joined IVP in October to invest in later stage consumer and enterprise startups. During her tenure, Xu has become actively involved in developer tool startup Harness, real estate startup Compass, and scooter rental company Lime, among others.

Before joining IVP, Louisa was part of the investment team at GIC. The Harvard Business School alum began her career in private equity at Goldman Sachs and Blackstone before moving to infrastructure startup Cloudflare.  

Julie Yoo, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Julie Yoo focuses on digital health investments at Andreessen Horowitz and is a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum.

Prior to joining Andreessen Horowitz earlier this year, Yoo cofounded biotech startup Kyruus. Yoo has been active in the healthcare industry since studying pre-medicine at MIT, and has led product development at Generation Health, later acquired by CVS Health, and genome sequencing startup Knome. 

David Zhang, Vice President at TCV

David Zhang joined growth firm TCV in August to focus on investing in later-stage consumer startups in media, financial tech, and entertainment.

Zhang graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science and shortly after founded his own real estate startup. Before joining TCV, Zhang spent time in the investment banking divisions of Goldman Sachs and Dorsal Capital Management.