“I don’t mind if you weren’t born in the U.S. or if your accent sounds funny – mine does for sure. I also don’t care whether you went to Stanford or you’re a domain expert yet. I believe that talent is universal, even if opportunity is not.”
My passion is working with first-time technology founders with strong product instincts, who treat every decision as a learning moment. These are essential traits of entrepreneurs who build great companies.
I particularly enjoy investing early in consumer products and services that most people might perceive as crazy, funny, and controversial; those strong reactions tell me there is something disruptive going on.
Similarly, I look for consumer products and services that streamline existing cumbersome workflows.
I believe technology exists to make our lives better. Combine this with a hot market, and billion-dollar companies can be created. General Catalyst companies I’m involved with include ClassDojo, FlightCar, Kiwi (created by Chatous), Livongo Health, PumpUp, RealtyShares, and Snapchat.
My intellectual curiosity and ambition to maximize serendipity (my life’s function) led me to be a perpetual student in multiple countries. I ended up graduating from Stanford (MS in Management Science and Engineering as a Fulbright Scholar), the University of Cambridge (M.Phil. in Manufacturing Engineering and Management) and the National Technical University of Athens (Dipl.-Ing in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). I also worked in Tokyo at the R&D headquarters for Yokogawa Electric Corporation. This random walk through the world has proven to be extremely helpful in my role as an early-stage investor.