– The following profile is an abbreviated version of Venture Capital Journal contributor Deborah Gage’s piece for the the VCJ’s series on “Hot Prospects” within the venture capital industry. –
Chi-Hua Chien’s first experience with VC wasn’t pleasant. Nearly every morning for an entire week, at 7:00 a.m., he was summoned to a meeting with the backers of Coremetrics, who were threatening to shut down the faltering dot-com.
Coremetrics ultimately worked through its problems – just two months ago IBM said it would buy the company. And Chien’s performance during the company’s troubled period was not lost on Peter Fenton, then a partner of Accel Partners, one of Coremetrics’ backers.
“Chien’s most distinctive quality is his tireless optimism,” said Fenton, now a partner at Benchmark Capital. “He has absolutely zero cynicism, and that’s part of what you have to have in venture – a true belief in entrepreneurs and their ability to change the world.”
It wasn’t long before Chien caught the attention of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which offered to make him a partner and give him a key role in its iFund, which focuses on developers of apps for Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and now iPad.