In 2016, David Lu co-founded Textbook Ventures alongside Patrick O’Connellduring their time at UNSW studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Law. TBV was a student-led VC fund investing in early-stage student startups across Sydney, with advisors Niki Scevak and Rick Baker of Blackbird Ventures, Benjamin Chong of Right Click Capital, and Melissa Widner of NAB Ventures. With his investing and founder experience, David is currently the founder of Drift Labs, an options derivatives DeFi platform built on Solana.
Jenny Chu, the General Manager in 2018 led TBV’s pivot into becoming the leading premier startup community for students across Sydney. This involved growth-hacking the TBV brand across multiple universities and empowering students to embrace entrepreneurship through events i.e. Women in VC panel. Jenny is currently the Head of Product at Eucalyptus, a leading Australian Series C healthtech startup building and launching digital healthcare brands i.e. Pilot, Kin Fertility and more.
In 2019, Textbook Ventures was led by Clinton Chan where the team ran events including the Design a Fintech Challenge and the bi-annual startup career fairs. Through a 12-month program of events, the team brought together experienced founders, academics and venture capitalists in hopes to inspire other students. Today, Clinton is a Data Product Manager at Culture Amp, an employee engagement software platform empowering teams with performance and development tools.
“ Few students realised how much of a booming tech economy Australia has and how important entrepreneurship will become for the future.” — Clinton Chan
Audrey Thehamihardja, the General Manager in 2020 paved the way as the team shifted to running virtual events with a strong focus on digital content. Notable events included our week-long Student Startup Pitch Festival covering subjects i.e. Breaking into Silicon Valley, Building a Sustainable Future and Product Management Fundamentals workshop. Audrey is currently a Product Manager at Canva and has worked on startups including the DeFi derivatives platform Zeta Markets.
Last year, GM Saurav Risbud kicked off the Launch Codes podcast to shine a light on the stories of leaders in the tech, startup and VC industry inspiring young people to learn and develop their own personal success stories. Saurav started the inaugural VC case challenge sponsored by Folklore Ventures giving students a glimpse at what it’s like to make investment decisions. In addition, Saurav co-authored the book The Rising Tide covering startups, angel investing and VC alongside Sachin Shah and Adam Mills from The Sachin and Adam Show.
Recently, Elaha Gurgani our brilliant Head of Events joined seed stage startup Relevance AI as a business operations analyst and as employee #19, to help build a developer-first vector platform for machine learning teams. One of the co-founders of Relevance AI, Jacky Wong won the 2019 Textbook Ventures Design Your Own Fintech: workshop and challenge. Elaha led and ran a number of events including our Intro to Crypto panel, Careers in the Creator Economy and VC Case Challenge.
Our talented Head of Digital, Elysia Fazio became the first employee to join early-stage startup envited as a product designer, as the team continues to democratise access to events without the use of Facebook. Notably, founder Mihailo Bozic, a Startmate Fellow won the 2021 Textbook Ventures Student Startup Pitch Competition. Elysia has been an integral part of the TBV team, in charge of our digital content and social media channels.
These are just a few of the many examples where the team at Textbook Ventures continues to lead by example, carving out non-linear paths by becoming the first believers and choosing to triumph stories of change within the community.
Those involved with Textbook Ventures continue to lead by example, carving out non-linear paths and choosing to triumph stories of change.