Featured Investors
|
February 1, 2021

Featured Investors | February 2021

By
Samantha Huang,
Principal at BMW i Ventures

Stephen Chou, Principal at Translink Capital

Stephen Chou is a principal at Translink Capital, an early-stage fund investing at Seed / Series A. He focuses on opportunities in all things consumer and is most excited about interactive media and wellness. Prior to joining the fund, Stephen worked on software venture investing and M&A at Cisco Investments. He also spent time advising executives on strategic transactions and capital raises at Credit Suisse across internet, gaming, and hardware sectors.

Stephen grew up in Los Angeles and Taipei, often splitting his time between Asia and the US. He is a former Diablo 2 addict, and now also enjoys spending time outdoors with his golden retriever puppy, and watching the Lakers.

EVCA: How do you stay connected with and cultivate relationships with co-investors over time?

Stephen: Outside of discussing startups and issues in venture, my personal philosophy is being open and real leads to more long-term, authentic relationships. Pre-COVID, I particularly enjoyed regular informal coffee chats or meals (anyone else also miss indoor dining?) with co-investors around board meetings.

EVCA: What’s your favorite thing about working in venture capital and why? How about your least favorite and why?

Stephen: I’m a sucker for new tech and have preordered too many new gadgets to try out off Kickstarter. But in venture, that’s the part I love--being able to explore new technology and meet entrepreneurial people who are building innovative products that could change our lives. It’s fascinating! My least favorite part is not being able to directly contribute to building the future with the team.

Veronica Gabriele, Associate at Munich Re Ventures

Veronica Gabriele joined Munich Re Ventures as an associate in 2019 to focus on mobility, life and health, and cybersecurity. She currently sits on the board of ride-share insurance company Inshur. Previously, Veronica was an investor at Anthos Capital and focused on early- and growth-stage deals across the CPG and cyber spaces. Prior to that, she was an analyst at Rothschild & Co. covering the financial institutions group in Italy and also worked at various startups across the US, Europe, and Asia including, eToro, Benivo, and Stensul.

Veronica loves to travel and took advantage of her program at NYU Stern to study and work in London and Shanghai.

EVCA: How do you stay connected with and cultivate relationships with co-investors over time?

Co-investor relationships are some of the deepest professional relationships we can build as investors. Of course it’s a bonding experience to hash out a deal together, but it’s also just an opportunity to bond over a shared interest and updates. When two funds have worked well together and are on the board together, conversations are direct - which speeds up the decision-making process. When I reconnect with that investor, I always make an effort to not only talk about new deal flow but to spend time reviewing the latest news from our shared investments. All of this leads to a more personal relationship, and the people who know me know that I always create time for fun.

EVCA: What’s your favorite thing about working in venture capital and why? How about your least favorite and why?

A VC has two jobs. The first happens during the day. We spend time conducting diligence, calls, and talking to portfolio companies. The second is in the evening. We build meaningful connections at events, panels, and if we’re lucky, maybe a ski trip or two. I absolutely love the social part of VC. I’m grateful to be working for a fund that trusts me to represent it at conferences and with our business units in the US and abroad, which has allowed me to leverage my social nature. On another note, as I keep progressing in my career as a VC, I enjoy the feeling of self-growth. It’s a job where I can easily see and understand my personal growth as I become more specialized and knowledgable in certain sectors. My least favorite thing is probably the same as most investors - the pass emails. It’s the worst when you meet a great company that’s just not in our investment scope. I wish there were a way to make exception cases – however, the beauty of VC is that you’ll always have an investor friend to send the deal to!