Young Gen-Z VCs are gathering by the hundreds in a Slack channel that’s gone viral this week
- 23-year-old Meagan Loyst landed her first job in venture capital in September when she joined early-stage firm Lerer Hippeau.
- She felt lonely as a young investor so she sent a tweet asking to meet other Gen-Z VCs. The response was overwhelming, she told Business Insider.
- She created a Slack channel where everyone could meet each other and two days after making the channel public, over 700 young VCs joined, creating a new network for young investors.
- “If you have an idea, just put it out there,” Loyst said. “All you have to do is get started.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In September, 23-year-old Meagan Loyst landed her first ever VC job as an analyst at early-stage firm Lerer Hippeau after sending one of the firm’s partners a cold email.
She loves her job but soon found that she had trouble meeting other young, Gen-Z people in the venture industry, those born in the mid-to-late 1990s.
“I could count the amount of other young VCs I knew on one hand,” she told Business Insider.
Loyst also felt that young VCs like herself could add lots of value to their firms. At Lerer Hippeau, she helped her team better understand companies that were targeting young consumers, oftentimes demoing their products herself or consulting with her friends and siblings.
So she posted a tweet on October 1 asking to connect with fellow investors of her generation. The response was overwhelming. Within the first day of Loyst’s tweet, she received 24 emails. Over the next three weeks, she spoke to a total of 71 young people working all over venture, from VC firms to student-run funds, accelerators/incubators, even angel investors.
Loyst met some impressive characters along the way. Take Nik Sharma, for example, who handled the social strategy for celebrities like Pitbull and Priyanka Chopra at just age 15. Sharma is now 23 and a venture partner at Sarah Cone’s firm Social Impact Capital and has made angel investments in companies like Haus and Caraway Home.
Loyst was so moved by the experienced of the other Gen Z investors she was meeting, on October 22 she wrote an article on Medium summarizing the trends the young investors were seeing among startups. This included the rise of “creator economy” companies, innovations in edtech during the pandemic, and the future of social gaming.
The post went viral. Microsoft for Startups, the Internet giant’s program for helping startups scale across the world, tweeted the article out to its 73,000 followers. Longtime TechCrunch writer Alex Wilhelm also wrote about it in his weekly newsletter.
This was the first time she ever wrote a public post and Loyst says her article was a big learning moment for her. It showed her the power of publicly expressing herself, how simply writing down her thoughts and sharing them helped make a name for herself in a crowded profession.
“If you have an idea, just put it out there,” she advises. “All you have to do is get started.”
—Meagan Loyst 🧚♀️ (@meaganloyst) November 18, 2020
Building a new community through GenZ VCs
Loyst’s Twitter following shot up after her post and all of the people she met wanted to know one thing: who were the other investors she was talking to?
So she created the GenZ VCs Slack community. At first, it was a private group with around 30-40 members. But Loyst opened it to the public on Tuesday, and by Friday there were over 700 people in the channel. Members can discuss topics ranging from cryptocurrencies and data privacy to deal flow and startups hiring in different Slack channels.
At first glance, the GenZ VCs group seems similar to Gen Z Mafia, a server on messaging platform Discord where young founders are working together in the hopes of breaking into Silicon Valley. That group’s founders intended it to be a counterpoint to Silicon Valley’s exclusive and elitist culture, and at one point jokingly referred to partners and limited partners at older firms as “daddies,” the New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz reported.
But Loyst has a different vision for her budding but fast-growing community.
“It’s not just about networking. It’s about building friendships and genuine relationships,” she said. “Because I think that we’re all going to be going through our careers together, and so why not help each other along the way?”
(the headline, this story has not been published by Important India News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)