Meet Lolita Taub, the Latina VC Making Waves in the Start-Up World
In the fast paced and unforgiving culture of start-ups, venture capitalists can help make a great idea into a financially successful one. However, if you’re a minority entrepreneur with a solid idea, it can be much harder to get VC funding. Historically, a very small amount of VC funding has gone to companies with black or Latinx founders, and at the end of the day, VCs tend to fund entrepreneurs who look like and think like them, which is why diversity in this space is so imperative.
“The world is not simply male and white, and for too long investors have been overlooking great opportunities based on their own homophily,” declares Sean Wise for Inc.com. We agree! That’s why we were thrilled to speak to Lolita Taub, Principal and Director of Strategic Initiatives at Backstage Capital, and learn all about her her thoughts on Latinx in the start-up space and how she defines personal and professional success.
Name: Lolita Taub
Title: Principal at Backstage Capital
Location: San Francisco, California
Education: University of Southern California, USA - BA, International Relations (Global Business), Finance; IE Business School, Spain - MBA, Business Administration, Venture Capital
What was your first job out of college and how did you land it?
After getting my bachelors degree, I was recruited to IBM Global Business Services as a Consultant through one of their college diversity hire programs. And it was awesome. I moved to the Greater DC area, got my Secret Clearance, and on my first project I worked on tech solutions inside the Pentagon!
Why did you decide to pursue a career in venture capital and what did your journey look like?
I did it all to live my dream of voting on the future of tech and who gets to be part of it. I went from big tech corporations (IBM, Cisco) to tech startups (Glassbreakers and Blockdaemon) to venture capital. My leap from business operator to investor came through angel investing through Portfolia (where I invested in 7 startups), then I quickly progressed from an internship-associate role at K Fund, an early-stage fund in Spain, to Principal at Backstage Capital.
Walk us through a typical day in your life.
The constant is a morning and evening walk with my dog, Choco. Aside from that, there is no typical day. But what I can tell you is that I spend a lot of time re-prioritizing my activities based on whether they will bring me closer to my fiduciary responsibilities: invest in solid companies that will provide outsized returns for our investors. That includes: selecting investments and supporting them on their path to commercialization, growth, and exit.
What’s something unexpected that you have learned and/or gained from working in this field?
I’ve gained a greater appreciation of what it means to be a woman of color in VC, of the arbitrage opportunity that exists in investing in underrepresented founders, and the importance of sharing the journey on Medium and Twitter.
What energizes you about your industry?
I want to leverage my ability to see opportunity that others don’t to invest in awesome founders (regardless of stereotypical VC pattern matching) who will push the future of tech, and make me a lot of money while I’m at it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Consider how you are different from others and know that it is in those characteristics that your superpowers lie in.
What’s the best advice (career or personal) that you’ve ever received?
Do what you say you’re going to do.
What accomplishment (personal or professional) are you most proud of?
With less than 1% of VCs as Latinx women, it’s a huge accomplishment to have broken into venture capital. I’m also proud that the most trailblazing VCs in Silicon Valley, Arlan Hamilton and Christie Pitts, invited me to join Backstage Capital, where I get to invest in underrepresented and underestimated founders because it’s good business.
How do you define success?
Success for me is providing my family with a better life, achieving my full potential, and one day living in a world where diverse talent shapes the future of tech.
What’s next for you and your career?
My medium-term career aspirations are to kick-butt as a Principal for the It’s About Damn Time Fund at Backstage Capital and earn my way up to Partner.
Quick Fire Questions:
Favorite shows to binge-watch: House Hunters International on HGTV
Ideal Sunday? 50% alone time at a coffee shop; 50% time at the beach with my husband and pup
Go-to Starbucks order: Tall soy-latte, no foam, extra hot
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and why? Oprah because Oprah!
Images Courtesy of Lolita Taub