I believe the most meaningful life pursuits are narrative driven. At PGVC, we spend a lot of time trying to understand the narrative behind a space, company and team before we invest, and working with those entrepreneurs to continue to build that narrative. As such, I think it’s worth starting this blog with my own:
If you rewind the clock just 50 years, you’d find my mother and father living in remote villages in West Africa (Bansang, Gambia and Dzelukope, Ghana, respectively) with no running water or electricity. Fast forwarding to today, I have the privilege of working at Pritzker Group Venture Capital with a great set of teammates and managing partners that are pillars in the Chicago community. Getting to this point was no small thing – many risks were taken and sacrifices made. I grew up hearing stories of landing in the US with $50, a single suitcase, and nothing else, having to forge a life in a country where you knew and had very little. Stories of just scraping by (in my mom’s case, holding down two jobs while going to college) and, through the combination of hard work, the goodness of others, and many lucky breaks, realizing something close to the American dream. Though I’ve started from a more privileged foundation than my parents did, much of my own personal journey has been a continuation of those beginnings – trying to make progress and meaning through hard work, luck, and (hopefully) adding value along the way.
That narrative drives the primary reason why I enjoy venture. I’m fascinated by the waves of technological and business model innovations, and think they have the chance to profoundly improve our ability to connect, share and work with one another. But ultimately, I empathize with what it’s like to carry the burden of venturing in new territory. Of trying to create something of value with very few resources at your disposal – whether it be a company, a career, or a life. Of building upon the work of others to create meaning.
I’m excited by the dynamism of technology companies, and how they will reshape the way we work, interact, and progress – not only in the Valley, but in Bansang, Dzelukope, Chicago’s South Side (my current residence) and other places like them. Every day, I look forward to meeting with and learning from entrepreneurs, and figuring out how I can lend a hand in building their narrative, together.