Claire Lee is a Managing Director and Head of Early Stage at Silicon Valley Bank – the group dedicated to working with founders, entrepreneurs and pre-Series A companies. Her team is also responsible for strategic partnerships: engaging with leading global incubators, industry groups and investors that support founders at the early stage.
Silicon Valley Bank works with more than 50 percent of the venture capital-backed companies in the US and increasingly has a global focus (with offices in the UK, China, Israel, and Ireland; as well as partnerships in Australia, Turkey, Latin America and Western Europe).
Claire joined SVB in January 2014, after spending almost a decade at Microsoft.
Claire was part of the team that launched Microsoft Ventures in 2013. As a Principal in the seed fund, Claire was evaluating and investing in early stage startups. She was also part of the team that created Microsoft BizSpark in 2008 – with 50,000 startups and 2,000 global partners.
Outside of running the early stage practice at SVB, and a team of 30+ people, Claire is an active advisor, mentor and board member. She often speaks on the topics international development, entrepreneurship, seed stage investment and education. She has visited 60+ countries and lived or worked in 10 of these. She is a recognised advocate and spokesperson for advancing efforts around equality, diversity and inclusion, advancing women and girls in industry, and the founder of LOEW (League of Extraordinary Women) which convenes high profile female funders and founders.
For more than five years, Claire was an advisor to the U.S. Department of State during Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry’s tenure, and closely involved with White House initiatives under the Obama administration. She was personally honoured by President Obama in June 2016 for her efforts with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and her contribution to entrepreneurship.