EP 54: Why Catherine Lu Fast-Tracked Her Path into VC

Catherine Lu | Principal at Spike Ventures

This successful entrepreneur, product manager, and software engineer found something in an opportunity with Spike Ventures that didn’t exist with more traditional VC firms.

Catherine Lu of Spike Ventures

Subscribe to Founders and Funders on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeartRADIO, and Android Podcast Players.

Episode Summary

Catherine Lu was approached by a few top venture firms after she sold a company that she’d started with Stanford classmates, but it wasn’t until she met Andre de Baubigny, Managing Partner of Spike Ventures, that she made the leap into VC.

“Venture capital feels, to many, like it’s something that you should do at the end of your career,” Lu says on Founders & Funders, “when you have more experiences and you can really help the entrepreneurs and the portfolio companies.”

Through Spike, however, she could be both a venture capitalist and an entrepreneur—all while disrupting the VC industry. So Lu turned down offers from firms with better name recognition to roll up her sleeves with de Baubigny. Together, they’ve raised two sizable funds exclusively from their Stanford classmates while investing in many of the most promising deals across the venture spectrum.

Listen to this episode to learn more about Lu’s journey from Stanford to Spike.

About Catherine Lu, Principal at Spike Ventures

Prior to joining Spike Ventures, Catherine was a successful entrepreneur, product manager, and software engineer. She was Director of Product at NEA-backed DataVisor, an enterprise company offering an unsupervised machine learning fraud solution. Prior to DataVisor, she co-founded the retail analytics company Fancy That, which was acquired by Palantir in 2015. While at Stanford, she built an online platform used by thousands of students and instructors to streamline grading. Catherine graduated from Stanford with a BS and MS in Computer Science, focusing on artificial intelligence.

About Spike Ventures

Spike Ventures is the smartest, simplest way for Stanford alums to add venture capital to their portfolios. Led by Andre de Baubigny and part of the AVG family of core funds, Spike boasts a full-time alumni investment team, an investment committee with more than 250 combined years of investing experience, 20K+ alumni followers, and the only fund of its kind for Stanford alumni.

Spike Ventures pays homage to the golden spike that was driven by Leland Stanford to finish the First Transcontinental Railroad across the nation, ushering a new era of commerce, transportation, and expansion for our country. Spike looks to make equally audacious bets to improve the world we live in by investing in and for the Stanford Alumni network.

Subscribe

Subscribe to Founders & Funders on iTunesTuneInStitcherGoogle PlayiHeartRADIO, and Android.



Ready To Join The AVG Community?


Related + Next Steps

 
 
EP 30: Former NASA Engineer Launches His Own Rockets to Protect Our Planet
Payam Banazadeh | CEO and Founder of Capella Space
The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the ensuing confusion deeply troubled Payam Banazadeh, a Stanford grad and former NASA satellite engineer. So he created Capella Space.
 
 
EP 40: Gender-Lens Investing is More Than Just Backing Women-Owned Businesses
Suzanne Biegel and Gail Gilbert Ball | Gender-Smart Investors
Suzanne Biegel (founder of Catalyst at Large) joins Gail Gilbert Ball (Managing Partner of AVG Women’s Fund) to discuss how investors can back socially conscious entrepreneurs while making a profit.
 
 
How An Alumni Connection Led AVG to Sapho—Which Was Acquired for $200M
Ryan Burleson | Producer, Founders & Funders
In this segment, Founders & Funders producer Ryan Burleson tells the story with help from Mike Collins and Green D’s current investment team, Managing Partner Laura Rippy (D’89) and Partner Lacey Johnson (Tuck ’13).