Imagine you worked so hard building a startup you really believed in and then it crashed. Would you keep going until you succeeded or give up?
My guest today is Vanessa Larco who decided to keep going. When regulatory changes killed her startup she fled to Greece for two weeks, to swear off Silicon Valley forever.
That’s when people there assumed, in her sad state, that she was a bride who had been left by a man at the altar – a wake-up call that lead her to stop mopping around and return the world of product and startups, which eventually lead her to receive an unexpected offer to become partner at a top venture capital firm, NEA. In fact, Vanessa is now one of the few female, Latina investors in Silicon Valley, which is a big deal.
Women of color are the fastest-growing sector of the entrepreneurial market but they receive less than 2% of the capital because 99% of venture capitalists are men, particularly white men. There are so many products and services that never have a chance to get off of the ground because of the lack of diversity in this sector, which is why we need smart women like Vanessa on the inside.
Vanessa: I never thought I would be here.
Majo: It sounds like it. Now, Vanessa, I know there are some listeners who might be thinking like “I could’ve never taken that role and would’ve felt like such an impostor”. Did you feel that or like you could learn it?
Vanessa: Every job I’ve had, I’ve had major impostor syndrome and tons of anxiety, to be honest. I look back and realize I figured out a lot of things and there’s a lot of things I didn’t figure it out but I learned a ton in a very short amount of time. I’ve kinda just made peace with the impostor syndrome. I don’t think it ever goes away. I just think that now I’m aware of it and have the confidence in myself to be able to embrace it.