I’ve been extremely fortunate over the last few years to meet many amazing people, and go through some incredible experiences. From a very early age, I knew I wanted to be involved with technology in some way or another. As a hobby, my dad and I would take apart computers on the weekends, and put them back together. I started blogging, podcasting, and then got into startups. From that point on, I know that the excitement of technology is what I loved, and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
After founding Teens in Tech Labs in 2008, working at Qik, Apture, TechCrunch, and other startups, I found myself asking- what’s next? After talking to many interesting companies, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at the world of venture capital. Once I determined this path, I spoke with a number of firms, but quickly realized that being a 19 year-old at a VC firm wasn’t exactly a typical scenario.
After going back to the drawing board, I reconnected with Dan Rosen, who is a Principal at Highland Capital Partners. He told about a Summer Associate program that the firm provides, and brought me in to talk to the investment team in the Menlo Park office. After that first meeting, I realized that this was the firm that I wanted to be a part of.
Highland didn’t look at my age, or the fact that I didn’t have a college degree, but rather that I love startups, and am passionate about the space that I’m in. That acceptance for me was the selling point. It helped quite a bit that Highland had an extremely impressive portfolio, and an amazing team ready to take me in.
After a few more meetings, I was given a unique opportunity to join Highland Capital Partners in their Menlo Park location, initially as a Summer Associate.
It’s an extremely interesting time to be an entrepreneur, and a venture capitalist. I’m going into this experience with high hopes. I expect to learn a ton, meet even more captivating people, and continue developing my skills.
What does this mean for Teens in Tech Labs? A few changes. Since I can’t run the day-to-day operations of Teens in Tech while I’m at Highland Capital, we’ve assembled an all-star team that will be able to continue running things smoothly. Greg, Jon and Sean will make sure that the summer incubator and conference will be a success, and I will still be involved, but not as much in the day-to-day role.
I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and I can’t thank Peter, Dan, Corey, Andy, Manish, Jason, Alex, and the rest of the Highland team enough for giving me this chance.
To all the entrepreneurs out there, I can’t wait to talk to you! My email is daniel @ hcp.com, so please feel free to email me. I love talking and helping entrepreneurs, and I’ll continue doing just that at Highland Capital.
There have been many great experiences in my past and I hope many more to come in the future. I feel extremely proud to take on this challenge and grow in my career and as an individual.