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AfterWork’s Jessy Wu put together a really cool advice list on how to break into venture capital

Jessy Wu, investment director at AfterWork Enterprises, is an unlikely venture capitalist.

She happily admits that it was “the farthest thing I could think of” when she came out with an ANU with a philosophy degree, also majoring in English literature.

The next thing she knew she was working at NAB Ventures. Within 18 months, Wu became part of the founding team of Afterwork, the $20 million venture capital fund that supports tech startups in the pre-seed and seed stages.

Wu is still too rare an example of women in VC and is well aware of the opportunity it has presented her since then.

And just three years into her career as an investor, she’s already planning to pay it forward, compiling a list of how VC as a source for potential VCs.

“When I was preparing for my first interview with a venture capital fund, I was lucky enough to have help – from friends, colleagues and even complete strangers,” she said.

“But not everyone has a friend who already works in the industry, or has just gone through an application process, or knows the hiring manager. As an ‘outsider’ you may feel you don’t stand a chance compared to those who have access to ‘inside information’.”

As she says, take a look and decide if this is the right career for you.

“If you’re not really sure about your chances, or don’t think you have the right background, take inspiration from this groundbreaking speech by famed VC Bill Gurley,” she said, citing two quotes from his Running Down speech a Dream ( You can watch it here).

Gurley, in turn, quotes legendary American basketball coach Bobby Knight: “Everyone has the will to win. People don’t have the will to exercise. I think this is the test to determine if you are actually pursuing your dream job, what is the essence of it that would be considered studying or working or practicing, do you like that part? Do you enjoy the preparation? Everyone enjoys winning. Do you like the preparation?”

Wu certainly made preparing for life in VC easier with her “Breaking into VC” compilation.

“VC has given me a lot: exposure to groundbreaking ideas, ambitious founders and passionate colleagues. It has also provided me with a platform and opportunities that I never expected,” she said.

But she’s also aware that the sense of being gatekeepers on the investment side of the table “cries me to the core,” which is why she decided to share whatever she could find.

“Instead of ranting at the machine, I’ve been trying to ask how I can start with the woman in the mirror – how can I open a door or send down a ladder to someone earlier in their journey. How can I be the mentor, ally, or cheerleader I wish younger I had access to? Wu said.

Her list includes everything from her workshop on preparing for VC interviews to suggestions on people, newsletters and podcasts to follow, as well as a compilation of articles from local VCs and salary guides.

Wu says her compilation will be a living document, so if you see anything worth adding, get in touch with her at [email protected]

In the meantime, your VC preparation starts here.

READ NOW: VC investors share their advice on working in venture capital


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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