The most profound value we share at HPVP is that rewards accrue to those who create value. We live this as a partnership and how we share economic rewards between us. It also serves as a centering beacon in our work with startup founding teams, executives and employees.
Greg Barnes joined us as a Principal in 2014 and Jackie DiMonte as an Associate in 2016 (promoted to Sr Associate in 2017), and today we are thrilled to see Greg become Partner and Jackie Vice President as HPVP expands and embarks on its next chapter in 2019. Consistent with our values, the recognition and economic rewards that come with these promotions are simply a reflection of the tremendous impact they both have on HPVP, our companies, and our brand.
As only our third team member, Greg Barnes took the risk of joining a nearly exhausted $25M HPVP Fund I in 2014 with promises of a new fund to be raised. His impact was rapid, “opening up” the Toronto market for us within a year and bringing it to a point where it represents nearly a fourth of the opportunities we see. But it’s not just that he did it, it’s how. Greg has developed a sterling reputation with peer funds, and we (really he) have consequently been invited into several terrific opportunities by Round 13 Capital, Real Ventures and others. In Toronto, Greg is our brand. This was bolstered by the HPVP investment Greg led in Hubdoc in 2017 which rapidly sold to Xero just over a year later, making it our first exit — with a terrific return — for Fund II. Greg also sourced one of our portfolio leaders in Fund II, Shipbob.
Moreover, while Greg only gains the formal title of Partner now, he has always been a partner (lower case p) to us. His operating and investing experience brought unique perspectives to our partnership and our companies from day one.
We first met Jackie DiMonte when she was a part-time MBA student at ChicagoBooth, with a full-time job and bucket of other commitments. There is no such thing as too much to do for Jackie. With a background in consulting, time at tech company Silver Spring and internship with one of our respected peer funds, Origin Ventures, Jackie was a perfect fit to quickly accelerate our opportunity sourcing with Greg at the beginning of HPVP Fund II.
There are apparent points when a new investor evolves from sourcing companies, to sourcing great companies, then staking a strong voice at the partner table and ultimately bringing their first investment to a close. Jackie accelerated through these steps with ease, but two points along the way standout.
Much like Greg did in Toronto, Jackie “opened up” Atlanta for us and has built her and HPVP’s brand there from scratch, sourcing and co-leading our investment in Roadsync. We’ve also found that when Jackie works on an investment with another team member we privately hear from the entrepreneur, “You’re great, but I really want to make sure Jackie is in the Board Room too”. We couldn’t agree more.
Venture is a tough business. It takes years to know if you’re good at it. With such a protracted feedback cycle, it can be discouraging as a developing investor to ride out the many lows for the few (but big) highs.
For this reason, venture’s advancement and promotion process is also atypical; actions have to be weighed equally or more heavily than outcomes early on because outcomes often take years. Moreover, in an industry where roles and behaviors are unscripted, but every baton you pass to a teammate needs to keep moving, the cohesive glue of a partnership must be trust. Jackie and Greg have earned ours many times over, and we hope we have theirs as well. Congratulations.