The entire Trinity team is thrilled to welcome Lisa Coca as Trinity’s newest Executive in Residence (EIR). A founding member of GE Ventures, Lisa has deep enterprise roots, a remarkable track record, and professional experience spanning multiple disciplines. Lisa’s tenacity, laser focus, vivacious personality and commitment to entrepreneurial excellence make her a fitting and invaluable addition to the Trinity team.
Read on for more about Lisa’s background, investment focus, and passions outside of work.
What did you do before joining Trinity Ventures as an EIR?
I spent seven years at GE Ventures where I was a member of the founding team. I launched and led the enterprise software practice, and also architected EDGE, the venture platform designed to leverage GE’s global expertise, scale, and resources to help our portfolio partners build and grow. Prior to GE Ventures, I held positions in financial services and commercial real estate across different operating roles, including strategy, business development, finance, sales, and marketing.
What are you hoping to gain from this experience as an EIR at Trinity?
After working on the ground floor to build a corporate venture capital unit, I’m excited to gain a unique and contrasting window into a highly successful independent venture capital firm with a storied history spanning more than three decades! The firm’s tenure in Silicon Valley is of particular importance to me because it showcases not only a legacy of successful investing — including marquee brands like Starbucks, PF Changs, Jamba Juice, and Care.com, as well as billion-dollar startups like Turo, Cohesity, Auth0 and Outreach — but also a legacy of building world-class operations and deep, long-term relationships which I’ll be able to tap into and learn from. Equally important, Trinity has an amazing reputation across the tech ecosystem and particularly amongst its portfolio CEOs, a super-smart, thoughtful and collaborative group of entrepreneurs. Trinity was founded on a commitment to investing with heart. Those people-focused values continue to shine clearly today, and I’m grateful to contribute to such a worthy mission.
What types of companies are you interested in exploring?
I’ve long been interested in the future of work, especially technology and innovation targeting “deskless” workers. Real estate tech, supply chain, and logistics are also interesting areas that are ripe for innovation and disruption; they’re massive, old-school industries that remain messy and overly mired in antiquated systems and legacy operating models.
What have you learned so far as an EIR?
A venture capital firm can survive and thrive on a partnership model that embraces collegiality, shared decision-making and diverse opinions, thoughts, and backgrounds.
Any advice for founders?
Proactively and thoughtfully address the competition! Too often I’ll sit with an entrepreneur who fails to address the competitive landscape. To ignore the competitive landscape and/or to suggest that absolutely no other company’s product, target market, strategy, etc. bears even the slightest resemblance to yours is typically viewed best case as hubris and worst case as ignorance of the sandbox in which you are playing. Neither of those extremes nor anything in between is an ideal impression to make on a prospective investor.
What else should people know about you and how can they get in touch?
I am passionate about financial literacy and independence for kids and women. Leveling the playing field requires access to both education and networks. In my spare time, I work with groups to promote both. I come from a relatively humble background, and I had to navigate the maze on my own. I am fortunate to have successfully done so, and it’s my turn to “drop the ladder” to people who can use the lift.
If you are an entrepreneur or investor, feel free to say hello at email@example.com.