VC Corner: Rebecca Kaden

Rebecca Kaden is a Partner at Union Square Ventures. She began her career as a journalist and, prior to USV, was a Partner at Maveron, a consumer-focused early stage fund. Rebecca was born in New York City. She studied English and American Literature at Harvard and received her MBA from Stanford.


What is your fund's mission? 
We are a thesis-driven early stage venture capital firm focused on partnering with standout entrepreneurs building bold new businesses that will use technology to broaden access to new markets.

What is one thing you are excited about right now? 
The opportunity to build powerful new brands in the consumer health and wellness category.  

Who is one founder you think we should watch?
Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy, co-founders of Modern Fertility 

What is one question you ask yourself before investing in a company? 
Will this founder be advantaged in putting together a world class team? 

What is one thing every founder should ask themselves before walking into a meeting with a potential investor? 
How do I best convey not only the massive market opportunity but why my team is uniquely positioned to win it? 

Favorite business book, blog, podcast? 
Different by Youngme Moon

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not working? 
Plan and throw dinner parties for big groups of friends with my husband.

What is one piece of advice you’d give every founder? 
Hiring even part of your absolute dream management team will optimize your chance for success more than anything else.  

When did you close your current fund?

What do you think should be in a CEO's top 3 company priorities? 
1. Hiring & retaining the team
2. Customer obsession throughout the organisation 
3. Make sure you don’t run out of money!

What and when was your very first investment? What struck you about them?
A small seed investment in 2012 into a company called SplashThat whose founder was, and is, insanely passionate and unable to be stopped. I was struck by his optimism and his fierce commitment to forward momentum in a giant but complicated category. He's still going and building a meaningful business and product!

Who is one leader you admire? 
My partners at USV - they are fiercely insightful investors, devoted partners to founders and teams, and true believers in the necessity of constant innovation. I love learning from them. 

What are the top 3 qualities of every great leader?  
1. Persistence
2. Resilience  
3. Optimism