Joining Union Square Ventures

I’m very excited to be joining Union Square Ventures as an analyst.  I’m coming from Insight Partners, a growth-stage fund located about 20 blocks north of USV.  Insight was an invaluable education in sourcing; I spent most of my time tracking down founders of software companies at all stages of growth and starting to develop my toolkit for evaluating investment opportunities across enterprise, SMB and consumer.  Prior to Insight, I spent time on the business development team at Vettery and I’ve also worked as a camp counselor and a short story editor and writer. 

Investing is often referred to as both an art and a science (though how much of each remains up for debate) and my background and approach reflect that.  I studied Economics and Creative Writing at Harvard but became interested in venture capital through a History of Science course on technology and democracy.  Studying technology as an investor compels me because it drives at the core of who we are: how we view ourselves and interact with each other and the world around us.  The internet is a mechanism for exploring our sense of individual and collective identity and constantly evolves the way that we conceive of community, connection, and scale.  

Innovation can happen anywhere and I’m eager to flex my thinking in many ways while at USV.  In my first few weeks, I’ve learned about everything from unbundling opportunities within healthcare to the listening patterns of Gen Z.  Just in the last week, conversations within the USV team about the implications of COVID-19 on remote work have challenged my ideas of how education, healthcare, and entertainment might be made more effective, affordable and exciting.  This constant re-imagining is to me the most exciting aspect of working with founders, investing, and especially about joining USV.  

If you’re re-imagining, writing, or building something, my inbox and ears are open: hanel (at) usv (dot) com