Jana is now a full-time investor at TQ Ventures!
Hello friends! Can I tell you a secret?
I must admit I’m a bit nervous about this next chapter of my career I’m about to embark on. In some ways, I’m starting from the beginning again.
Do you remember the last time you felt like this?
That feeling of knowing you’re entering this pivotal junction in your life, and you better step up because it’s going to push you to grow in all the right ways. It’s terrifying and exhilarating.
Here I was at the peak of my career. I spent the last 15 years becoming an expert in building developer communities. I helped build an iconic OSS company from early stages through IPO. This was the second company I saw through an IPO; the first was New Relic. After those experiences, I was fortunate to realize I had many paths available. I could have stayed at HashiCorp for many more years; I loved them as much as they loved me. I could have joined another early-stage startup to lead community. Or started advising startups on their community strategy.
At the beginning of last year, I made my first angel investment. This was a side hobby I was exploring while working at another startup.
I continued making angel investments, and in March, I attended an investor and founder dinner in New York City co-hosted by TQ Ventures and Lux Capital. That was where I crossed paths with Andrew Marks and Schuster Tanger, co-managing partners at TQ Ventures. We instantly hit it off. A few weeks later, I met Schuster at Gramercy Tavern for a quick bite. It was one of those conversations where you vortex, cover a million topics, and realize you’re late for whatever engagement you had on the calendar next. He said an hour into our meeting, “Jana, you should come work for us. I think you’d make a great investor.” I laughed and said, “No.” I woke up the next morning and realized this is not an opportunity you turn down.
In June, Andrew and Schuster offered me a part-time operating partner role as a low-pressure way to experience and learn about the world of venture. What they offered me was truly special. For six months, they took me under their wings. They started sending me books, articles, and podcasts that I should read and listen to. They asked me to sit in on calls with them, and after the calls, we would debrief. We started taking trips together to meet with founders and investors. We began making deals together. It was exciting. I had a front-row seat watching two of the best investors work. They’re both investment nerds as they like to describe themselves, and I discovered their approach to venture was uniquely theirs. The more I learned, the more I realized how much more I had to learn, but I was starting to see clearly that this was my next chapter. Over and over again, I saw them treat people with respect and kindness. Our values seemed aligned. The wild thing that happened was I started to get approached by other firms asking me to join them. But it was too late, I had already met “the one.”
What Andrew and Schuster have already shown me and are offering me is a lifetime of learning, mentorship, friendship, and getting to work with incredible founders around the world. I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined the TQ Ventures team as a Principal.
Who we are
We’re a small but mighty investment firm managing over $1B, and in February 2022, we raised our third set of funds of $500M that we split across early and growth stages. As a firm, we invest in software across both B2B and B2C, but given my experience, I will primarily focus on enterprise SaaS, DevTools, infrastructure, open source, and security. Some of TQ Venture’s recent investments I’ve been involved in are Oxla, Diagrid, MetalBear, and SlashID. You can see all of our portfolio companies listed on our website.
I now realize that the job of venture is community building. At the end of the day, it’s about meeting incredible founders, providing value, connecting them to each other, and giving them resources to build great things.
Please reach out if you’re thinking of starting something new or would like to chat!
*Thanks to ChatGPT, here are some alternate blog post titles I considered. They made me laugh.