Hiring an associate in a Venture Capital firm is a very difficult task. The challenge to bring in, onboard, and mentor the right person is critical in the successful growth of a firm. Mark and I have been working together as Brightspark's Managing Partners for more than 20 years, and we have developed a very strong investing culture within the firm. We believe that the best way to grow our investment team is by rigorous selection followed by quality mentoring time.
I am really proud and lucky to have met Éléonore Jarry-Ferron on this journey. More than 4 years ago, Éléonore retweeted one of my posts and caught my attention. At the time, she had a role in a student-led VC Fund, an innovative project that immediately sparked my interest. I had no idea such a Fund even existed! Brightspark was looking to add a junior member to its investment team, and I had already interviewed tons of interesting candidates - but none that had this “je ne sais quoi”….
I reached out to Éléonore and we met for coffee in the following days. We casually talked about venture, tech, culture, ambition and life in general. I knew right away - she was the exceptional one. This candidate was really smart, energetic, knowledgeable, curious and very relatable.
Being a VC is not a science, it’s an art and becoming a VC requires an apprenticeship. The ability to process vast amounts of data and focus only on relevant information, the judgement of character, exceptional ability to communicate and influence people, good analytical skills and self-confidence with a dose of paranoia are all qualities that serve to define a good VC investor. I could see all of those traits in Éléonore, and I strongly believed she had the potential to become a great investor and an integral member of our team.
Four and half years later, Éléonore has completely earned her place as a Principal. She is fully involved in every critical role of an investor. As we continue building the partnership, her contribution will expand. Éléonore embodies the next generation of VCs that will grow the asset class in Canada. A generation defined by its diversity, openness, agility, sense of community and for sure investment success.
Congratulations, Éléonore on becoming a Principal with the firm, this is only the beginning!