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Joanne Chen just became the first woman GP at Foundation Capital since founder Kathryn Gould – TechCrunch

Joanne Chen has become the second general partner in the history of Foundation Capital, a 26-year-old Silicon Valley venture.

If she was still alive, Foundation founder Kasarn Gould would undoubtedly support the development.

Known for her great personality, Gould first met Chen when he earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. Gould was recovering from a cancer attack at the time, and after being introduced to Chen through one of Chen’s professors, she first advised Chen not to go on an adventure. As Gould himself discovered early on, the venture world is open to men, which is why she first started her own company.

Still, like Gould, discouraging only motivated Chen more. She started her career as an engineer at Cisco, but has always been interested in finance. After serving as a bank analyst at Jeffreys and then as an associate with capital advisory firm Probitas, he co-founded a mobile gaming company. Relax.

Chicago’s graduate school — and meeting Gould — was strengthened for Chen just because he wanted to be a venture capital firm. After a stint in Formation 8 and Hyde Park Angels, she landed on the Foundation in 2014.

Indeed, Chen has brought a fresh perspective to a company with 10 investors and the rest of the men.

In addition to being the only woman in the group, Chen has a strong view of, for example, the entrepreneurial potential of a student at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied as an undergraduate. The university isn’t as organized as Stanford when it comes to founder casting, but in her view, the university is just as talented, and as a result she invests a lot of time and energy as an investor. Network to invest.

Born in China and raised in Montreal, Chen spends a lot of time thinking about AI, not only as an investor, but simply as a person in the world. His father, who holds a PhD from the University of Montreal, works as a researcher at Bell Labs, his mother is a computer programmer, and Chen is a “DevOps person” who discusses software tools on a daily basis. But their background is not that simple.

Like many immigrants, her parents fled China during the Cultural Revolution. Chen says her grandfather helped build a major Chinese telecommunications company, was persecuted by the Communist Party, stripped of all responsibilities and titles, and put in jail as an “intellectual.” During that time, his son (father) couldn’t go on to college until he was 21, and it was an excellent student who was invited abroad to get a master’s degree.

Today, combining her family experience with the use of Chinese artificial intelligence (including tracking the Islamic minority) is a person who does not understand how long the authoritarian regime goes and how. In a way that may not be the case for Chen, it’s the most important thing for Chen to act immediately.

That’s why most of Chen’s work focuses on understanding how AI evolves, from organizing activities to replacing humans (this is a mistake). Will happen without). How to use AI to recognize and counter malicious applications in AI (for example, by adopting software that screens names and genders to eliminate human prejudice). And she suggests a way to make sure that AI is being used to improve human life.

Of course, Chen isn’t the only one interested in AI. Almost every startup today incorporates AI into their products, from lenders to startups that help remote teams work more effectively. And investors, including the Foundation, are funding many of them.

Chen is asked how to deal with competition in many of these deals and says he moves as fast as a decision is made. She works with the VP of Engineering and Technology founders who share ideas in the Slack community and elsewhere. She also states that the Foundation has created an angel check and is capitalizing about 30 operators to help draw the company’s attention to interesting deals.

In most cases, Chen suggests that he’s focusing on things that don’t reach his inbox. This is a lesson learned from Gould many years ago.

It’s easy to believe. As Gould once told this editor about the advice she gives to other VCs, “It’s not the phone you take. It’s the phone you make. Everyone calls you with stupid startup ideas. There, and you can ever be very busy organizing that junk. Instead, my advice is to find the 10-20 smartest people you know and they One of them is always starting a company. “

Joanne Chen just became the first woman GP at Foundation Capital since founder Kathryn Gould – TechCrunch Source link Joanne Chen just became the first woman GP at Foundation Capital since founder Kathryn Gould – TechCrunch

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