The EVCA leadership is dedicated to building community across and empowering the next generation of venture capitalists through an array of activities—from hosting events, knowledge sharing, and connecting others. 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 those individuals who make the EVCA possible. Accordingly, it's a great privilege for us to announce our first ever EVCA Leadership Spotlight on our very own Chief of Staff, Kevin Wu.
**Kevin Wu** serves as EVCA’s Chief of Staff and is an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in the Haas School of Business. Within the venture ecosystem, Kevin is an investor at Signia Venture Partners, an $85m pre-seed / seed / Series A fund, where he focuses on sourcing and evaluating investments across consumer internet, B2B marketplaces, and e-commerce. Prior to Signia, he spent time in impact investing with Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective, supporting early and growth-stage companies in ed tech and the future of work. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys hiking the national parks, exploring Mexican cuisine, and is an aviation enthusiast who hopes to get his private pilot’s license.
EVCA: Could you explain more about what you do as Chief of Staff at the EVCA?
Kevin: As Chief of Staff, I execute special projects and support EVCA’s overall community-building efforts, working alongside Adam Dawkins, the Board of Directors, and Silicon Valley Bank. Most recently, I helped put together EVCA’s annual compensation study, our service provider directory, and a ‘state of the junior VC industry’ report (coming soon). We just completed the selection of our newest fellowship cohort, and, in 2021, I’m most excited to collaborate with vertical leads to create great programming for the fellows, in addition to building out our GP mentorship program and LP communities.
EVCA: What made you first interested in taking on a leadership role at the EVCA?
Kevin: As apart of EVCA’s inaugural fellowship cohort, I’m beyond grateful to the EVCA leadership team for guiding me this past year — shaping my skillset, confidence, and passion as I learned the ropes of venture investing. Nearing the end of the fellowship, I wanted to find a role to give back as much as I could to the broader EVCA community and to help champion our next cohort of student fellows. The leadership team welcomed me with open arms and it has been a privilege to serve the community ever since.
EVCA: What is your most contrarian view on an existing or emerging technology trend?
Kevin: While today’s last-mile delivery platforms are here to stay for the time being, supply chain and brand innovation are ushering in a ‘delivery 2.0’ era that will render the app experience that we know today virtually unrecognizable in a decade. First, cheap, vacant metropolitan real estate during and post-COVID will enable the continued growth of third-party ghost kitchen and darkstore operators who handle fulfillment for restaurants and other merchants. In a decade, the majority of the brands on both established (DoorDash, UberEats) and emerging marketplaces will be hyperlocal ‘delivery-only’ brands supported by these fulfillment centers. With a multitude of brands able to rely on one ghost kitchen, gone is the capital intensity of restaurant entrepreneurship, and anyone with a chef’s eye can spin up a restaurant concept and menu in a matter of days.
Through brand aggregation, these last-mile meal and grocery delivery platforms will soon be a ‘universal storefront’ akin to today’s Amazon, and be well-positioned to rake in advertising revenue that will be the ultimate driver of enduring net profitability. Instacart, one of the first movers, has already signed on all top 25 CPG brands onto its ad network; others will soon follow, and in the next decade large chains and mom & pop shops alike will jockey for valuable paid advertising space that will be the new medium of consumer brand discovery.
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