Entrepreneurial

Hot Prospects: Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate Fund

By Reuters Staff
August 3, 2010

– 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.”

QUICK FACTS

Name: Ann Miura-Ko

Occupation: Partner, Floodgate Fund

Age: 33

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

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