Hanel is one of our Principals based in London and our first American hire. She is especially passionate about investing in technology that creates new categories.
My childhood mainly took place around a university campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My parents are professors who immigrated to the US for PhDs and worked extremely hard to build the life my sister and I enjoyed growing up. I’ve always been hyper curious and an avid reader. I fell so much in love with writing that I studied creative writing and economics at Harvard for my Bachelors. I’ve always loved to combine creativity with some analytical frameworks - it’s why I love early stage investing.
Hanel and Iris hit the slopes at a Creandum offsite
I came to my first job in venture from a hiring event on campus knowing nothing about it. I started out on the growth side at Insight Partners but really learned the ropes of early stage thesis driven investing over three years at Union Square Ventures. I fell in love with the job on day one and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Hanel and Paul (Kosmik) after signing a term sheet in their Paris office
Being an early-stage investor allows you to dream alongside founders, who inspire me with how they see the world and what they imagine. Not just about the kinds of companies that exist – and should exist - but the range of problems that can be solved with technology. As an investor, you’re always the student - an environment I feel at home in given my upbringing. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to work with some of smartest and most ambitious people in the world to play a small role in helping their vision succeed.
During my studies, I spent six months living in Aix-en-Provence, France, and became totally immersed in French culture. It helped me realize just how many of the things we take for granted or think of as normal are just a product of where we grow up. Ever since that experience, I hoped to find a reason to move abroad again.
In NYC at Christmas
When Peter offered me a role at Creandum in our new London office, everything fell into place. Spending five years in New York City working with two fantastic venture funds and countless brilliant founders was the best education I could ask for. I was ready to dive into the European startup scene and join a fund that truly plays as a team alongside the founders we back.