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Katherine Boyle

“Great companies and great stories have the same key elements: universal appeal, imperfect protagonists and an important mission that simply must be achieved. I look for founders who don’t just tell a good story, but truly embrace this quest to build something transformative.”

As a reporter for the Washington Post when Jeff Bezos bought the paper, I investigated entrepreneurship in many forms. Every industry I covered, including my own, was being turned on its head by founders with fresh ideas. I finally decided to leave reporting so I, too, could be part of this world and help uncommon people accomplish epic missions.

While getting an MBA at Stanford, I worked in venture capital and saw that the founders I was drawn to don’t have perfectly polished narratives. Like heroes in great literature, they’re quirky, daring and driven to have an impact that lasts. So when I meet with founders, I still think like a reporter: I search for the big story, one where its telling will make the future different for all of us.

Like my colleagues at General Catalyst, I’m eager to champion startups that shake up highly regulated industries, from healthcare to transportation to labor. I actually welcome that extra layer of challenge because it means we’re addressing complex problems. I’m also drawn to really “unsexy” spaces and startups that tackle tired industries in need of an upgrade. Last but not least, I come from a small college town, so my door will always be open to innovations that touch everyone, not just people living in big cities.

Before Stanford, I received a BA at Georgetown and an MA from the National University of Ireland in Galway. I’m a lifelong fan of the arts, particularly classical music. I’m also an avid reader with a yen for history and foreign affairs. If there’s an obscure book that you couldn’t put down, I’d love to hear about it.