🥁🥁🥁 We’re super excited to introduce to everyone the newest member of the AirTree team — Andrew Yeo.
What will you be doing at AirTree?
I’ll be working in the investment team to find, back and support the best founders in Australia and New Zealand. I’m mostly interested in enterprise SaaS, EdTech, e-commerce, and FinTech, and excited to help continue the momentum of ANZ players being on the world stage in these sectors. Having spent a couple of years in the Bay Area, I hope to do my part in evolving ANZ’s startup ecosystem and helping more startups become global success stories.
How did you get here?
Prior to AirTree, I was a management consultant at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Co.) where my focus was on software deals strategy. I also spent chunks of time working in Atlassian, the EdTech startup Crimson Education, VC in the Bay Area and JD.com in Beijing. I also did an MBA at Stanford which was epic.
These experiences taught me about a range of sectors, key business drivers at the different stages of a company, and the ups and downs of the founder and venture journey. I’m excited to join VC to find the next game-changing products and to provide support to the Aussie or Kiwi founders who are building them.
Getting funding can be very daunting for founders. What’s something daunting you faced and how did you overcome it?
Parts of growing up and going to school in far Western Sydney in the 90s/early 2000s was daunting (schools and wealth have been improving quickly since however). One small example was having to teach myself 4 unit math through books since the only teacher who could teach it was ill for most of the year. Doing well academically also wasn’t cool so you had to compensate in other ways. This required grit, and building and leaning on support networks.
I also pitched a startup to VCs like Bessemer Ventures during my time in the Bay Area, which was daunting. Grit, role models, and passion were key to showing up and pitching. Although the team didn’t get funded, it opened up valuable networks and opportunities in the field that we were going after.
Advice for others hoping to get into the VC and/or the startup industry?
You have to be insanely curious and get involved in startups, tech and/or the community as much as possible. The AirTree team was excited to learn about my curiosity, experiences and engagement with the community during the recruitment process because it means that I enjoy looking at many new products and startups, and engaging with people and founders along their journeys.
Hidden talents or hobbies?
I once won a blind wine tasting competition against 100+ other people where you had to answer questions about several wines. Don’t ask me to do it again as any talent is very much hidden. My interest in wine led me to be on the leadership team of the Business School’s Wine Circle club as one of two ‘Wine Enthusiasts’.
Other hobbies include playing tennis, working out at the gym, listening to podcasts, scuba diving, travelling, and watching Netflix or sports.
Quotes you live by?
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — V. Frankl
Say hi to Andrew on andrew.y[at]airtree.vc or connect with him on Linkedin