Coauthored with Sadiki Wiltshire, an SEO Law Fellow at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, a rising 1L at Stanford Law, and a graduate of Princeton University (China Studies / Physics).

On June 10thAcrew Capital Founding Partner, Theresia Gouw, and Northzone General Partner, Pär-Jörgen Pärson, discussed with Lowenstein Sandler LLP Partner and Tech Group Chair, Ed Zimmerman strategies for building a venture firm, raising a new fund, and investing during the time of COVID. Northzone hosted the event for dozens of early stage venture capital investors around the globe. Gouw, Parson, and Zimmerman each entered this sector in the 1990s and have participated through numerous economic cycles. Gouw and Parson are regulars on the Forbes Midas List of the World’s most successful Venture Investors. Gouw is based in the Bay Area, Parson in Stockholm, Sweden, and Zimmerman (who has served as a Professor of Venture Capital in Columbia University’s MBA Program for 15 years and co-founded and chairs VentureCrush), is based in New York.

Here are three takeaways.

  1. The next 6 months. The next 6 months are likely to have a dim economic outlook on a macro level, as we see the ripple effect of U.S. unemployment exceeding 30M (see Fortune, June 9, 2020). There will be bright spots in the market, but it will be a more varied market. ...
  2. Investing in a COVID world. Early stage investing amidst COVID has become the accepted state of play. Despite having initially thought that shutdowns would be temporary, we’re now resigned to understanding that for a protracted period, we’ll operate in a COVID environment. This is, in some ways, liberating, as people can now make decisions and move forward with business strategies, rather than waiting for a temporary setback to fade. ...
  3. Building resilience via Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. All conversations happen in the context of the defining issues of the day. Just as COVID was a major factor contextualizing the discussion, so, too, were the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as the ensuing, ongoing nationwide reevaluation of systemic racism in the U.S.
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