Executive Profiles: Cheryl Foil

“People are the number one thing you’ve got.” — Todd Hitt

At Kiddar Capital, I’m fortunate enough to work with an amazing team of professionals — intelligent, colorful people who share a culture of aggressive excellence. Everyone brings their own strengths and story to our culture and business.

I thought it’d be great for you to meet our executives in series of profiles. Cheryl Foil is the Principal of our Venture Group.

Describe your responsibilities at Kiddar.

I run our venture arm, including sponsoring all our tech startup deals and managing our existing venture portfolio. To date at Kiddar I’ve done 13 investments, including 11 direct investments and 2 fund investments.

What’s one current tech trend that you’re excited about?

Built world industries are some of the least digitized right now, meaning there’s a huge opportunity for technology to transform and optimize them. Construction tech is projected to cut $1 trillion a year from the cost of infrastructure projects alone, and make buildings 30% cheaper to construct and maintain. Logistics technology will save billions of dollars worth of food and medicine from spoiling on the way to stores. The real estate tech from Aquicore, one of our portfolio companies, already makes utilities 10–30% cheaper and more efficient for commercial buildings.

What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced in your career?

Switching to venture capital from a technology background was a bit of a transition. Software engineering, though nuanced, often has a set of definable, objectively optimal solutions. Venture capital is more about smart, diligent extrapolation, and instinct.

What are you passionate about?

Finding the right way to navigate labor displacement as we hit the brink of mass automation, and wondering which sci-fi novel our world will most resemble in 10 years.

If you weren’t in your current industry/job, what do you see yourself doing?

I would almost certainly go back to operating in startups. I loved being a CTO working alongside talented CEOs to bring new ideas to market.

What would you fight for with your dying breath?

Open source software: we’ve only progressed so fast thanks to the technologists who have elected to share their solutions with this world.

What advice would you give to a young professional going into your industry?

Venture capital moves so quickly that you have no choice but to observe with your own senses. You can’t fall for hype, and you can’t trust anything without verifying. The innovation landscape shifts every few months as new solutions come out and consumer sentiment evolves. Pay close attention and move quickly.

Kathryn Darling, Marcom Coordinator

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