Top 50 Rising Stars 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Terri Burns, investing partner, GV

“When I started my career as a computer scientist and product manager, I was hyper-focused: there was always one project, one feature, and one team I was focused on,” said Terri Burns, a partner at GV, the early-stage investment subsidiary of US-headquartered internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet formerly known as Google Ventures.

“Today as a VC, I have the unique opportunity to really go broad and understand the greater entrepreneurial and technological market. As a person with many different interests, it is the perfect balance for me.”

Burns joined GV as a principal in October 2017 after spending 14 months as an associate product manager at social media company Twitter where she concentrated on improving user experience.

Burns said: “I was attracted to venture capital because I was a product manager (PM) prior to investing. As a PM, you are hyper-focused on one team, feature or product, and I liked the idea of being able to zoom out and analyse the industry at large. GV was a particularly compelling team because everyone is incredibly sharp and experienced.”

Having begun her career as a developer evangelist and front-end engineer at Venmo, digital payment processor PayPal’s mobile payment subsidiary, in 2015, Burns went on to serve as an adviser at coding school Codecademy the year after.

Burns led two deals for GV in 2020: a $1m seed round for Hags, a provider of digital experiences aimed at Generation Z students, and a $9.3m seed round for Howard and Betty Labs, the consumer company that created social audio app Locker Room with a similar target audience.

GV general partner Dave Munichiello said in a blog post: “A current Kauffman Fellow, Terri is passionate about improving diversity across the venture capital industry, and served as emcee for the inaugural All Raise Summit.

“She is also worked closely with Brave Initiatives, a nonprofit providing high school girls with coding and leadership training. At GV, in addition to partnering with our GPs (general partners) on investments and leading several on her own, she collaborates on our efforts to increase underrepresented founders in our portfolio.

“Terri’s exceptional work has a team-wide impact. We are excited to see her grow with GV.”