Hot Prospects: Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate Fund
— The following profile is an abbreviated version of Venture Capital Journal senior editor Joanna Glasner’s piece for the the VCJ’s series on “Hot Prospects” within the venture capital industry. —
Ann Miura-Ko has been in the epicenter of startup innovation since the fifth grade. That’s when the now 33-year-old partner in newly formed Floodgate Fund (formerly Maples Investments) moved to Palo Alto, California, where her father worked as a rocket scientist at nearby NASA-Ames.
After graduating from Yale, Miura-Ko followed a well-worn VC path, taking a job with consulting firm McKinsey & Co. A couple years into that job, Miura-Ko met her future mentor, Ted Dintersmith, a partner at Charles River Ventures. CRV had posted an ad for an analyst on the McKinsey job board, and Miura-Ko applied for and won the position.
Miura-Ko left Charles River for Stanford to pursue a Ph.D. in quantitative modeling of computer security, where she met Floodgate co-founder Mike Maples Jr., who had signed up as an advisor to a group of students in an entrepreneurship class where Miura-Ko was a teaching assistant.
Shortly after Maples began raising his second fund in late 2007, he got a call from Miura-Ko, who was seeking career advice. Maples asked her to join the new fund, provided she start immediately. Maples and Miura-Ko have been scouting deals together ever since. Currently, they oversee a portfolio that includes some early picks, such as Twitter and user-driven content site Digg.com, as well as new portfolio additions, such as vintage-inspired clothing site ModCloth, a deal that Miura-Ko championed last year.
Miura-Ko has set the bar very high for entrepreneurs. “What I’m looking for is what I call a ninja assassin – a creative, fearless, nimble, focused entrepreneur,” she said. “They’re the kind of person who’s taking a different path and is singularly passionate about a particular idea.”
Name: Ann Miura-Ko
Occupation: Partner, Floodgate Fund
Education: BS, electrical engineering, Yale University, 1998; Ph.D., Quantitative Modeling of Computer Security, Stanford University, 2010.
Work experience: Senior Business Analyst, McKinsey & Co., 1998-2001; Analyst, Charles River Ventures, 2001-03; Partner, Floodgate Fund, 2008-present.
Investments: ModCloth, online vintage-inspired clothing retailer.
Mentors/Heroes: Lew Platt, former CEO, Hewlett Packard, and Ted Dintersmith, partner emeritus, Charles River Ventures.
Twitter handle: @annimaniac
Why she became a VC: “It’s something I unexpectedly discovered is one of my passions—working with engineers and helping them with the creative process of building a company.”
Sources: VCJ reporting, LinkedIn and Floodgate