54 minutes | Mar 22, 2021

#284: Vanessa Larco, Partner at NEA, on Her Extensive Experience in Product Management, Her Framework for Decision-Making as a VC, How the Venture Industry is Changing, the Value of Diversity, and Ruthless Prioritization

Vanessa Larco is a Partner at NEA, a global venture capital firm with a mission to make the world better by helping founders build great companies that improve the way we live, work and play. She joined NEA in 2016 and focuses on enterprise SaaS and consumer investing. She is passionate about well-designed products and services that enable people to be more productive and fulfilled at work and at home. Vanessa has led investments in Cleo, Rocket.Chat, Mejuri, EvidentID, Greenlight Card, Feather, and Lily AI. She is also a board observer at Robinhood, Willow Pump, Forethought AI and OmniSci. Prior to joining NEA, she was the Director of Product Management at Box (NYSE: BOX) where she worked on building the next generation of productivity apps across web and mobile. Her passion for design and analytics stems from her experience in the gaming industry, which includes leading the Speech Recognition Experience team at Xbox Kinect v1, and building a top grossing gaming studio at Disney Social. Vanessa holds a BS in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. About Our Partner This episode is brought to you Varia Search. Varia Search is a boutique legal recruiting firm that uses a bespoke approach to fill legal department roles from general counsel to paralegal. They have a particular focus on startups and growing tech companies. They are a boutique firm which allows them to provide individualized, in-depth attention to both their clients and to their searches. They focus solely on placing in-house candidates which allows them to give their clients a bespoke experience in filling their legal needs. Their matchmaking approach ensures that clients are paired with candidates who not only have great credentials but who are also a good cultural fit for a growing company. Learn more at variasearch.com. Some of the Topics Covered by Vanessa Larco in this Episode How Vanessa unexpectedly got into VC Her experience becoming a founder and what she would do differently Vanessa's time working in enterprise software at Box How A/B testing almost got her fired at Box Some important lessons Vanessa took away from working in product management Vanessa's early days at NEA and how she adjusted Vanessa's framework for decision-making as a VC How she approaches mentoring founders Her process for valuating companies at NEA and the importance of founder diversity Deal flow and the areas Vanessa is most excited about right now How Vanessa has seen the VC industry change in recent years Her time management approach of ruthless prioritization The challenge of constant task switching as a VC and how to avoid being transactional Sign up for The Grind, for actionable insights and stories from successful entrepreneurs delivered to your inbox once per week: https://www.justgogrind.com/newsletter/ Listen to all episodes of the Just Go Grind Podcast: https://www.justgogrind.com/podcast/ Follow Justin Gordon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/justingordon212 Follow Justin Gordon on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justingordon8/
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