Mentoring Forward with Heidi Roizen of Threshold Ventures

News & Insights

Welcome to our Mentoring Forward series! We’re highlighting an incredible group of mentors and the positive impact the VC University Mentorship Program has had on VC University scholarship recipients. Since launching in 2020, the Mentorship Program has had four cohorts with a total of 154 new and early career VCs from historically underrepresented backgrounds, each who have been paired with one experienced VC mentor and one peer VC mentor. Thanks to these mentors, we are working together to create a more inclusive and diverse VC community.

Heidi Roizen is a former NVCA Board Member, founding Venture Forward donor, and has served as an experienced VC mentor in the VC University Mentorship Program. Read more about her experience as a mentor below.


Why is mentorship important in VC and why did you want to serve as a mentor?

I truly believe venture capital is a business suited for the mentor-mentee relationship because fundamentally this is a people business focused on the relationship between the investor and the entrepreneur, and that is very hard to learn without having someone who has been there and done that can help you understand what that means.

How did you support your mentee?

I found what worked best was free-ranging conversations at the mentee’s request, with the mentee driving the agenda. The program does a great job teaching the ins and outs of the VC business from a legal and numbers perspective, but I think these calls enabled us to talk about why one becomes a VC, what the body of work is (or should be), and how to best serve entrepreneurs.

Mentorship programs are primarily thought of as helping the mentee, but did you (as a mentor) come away with any new insights or were there aspects that benefited you?

For sure! I think it is incredible that the program has brought so many amazing, diverse people into the cohort and into VC, this is sorely needed. Not only did I learn about what is the current thinking about VC from this young generation, but I also got to explore (and hopefully help with) some of the challenges faced by those who are not stamped from the same mold as the generations before them.

Why would you encourage your VC peers to serve as mentors?

The venture industry only works when we serve the entrepreneur and help behind the scenes to bring success to their endeavors. The more we can bring the next gen investors up to speed on the art of doing so, the better it will be for our own industry as well as the economy and even the world!

Mentorship programs are primarily thought of as helping the mentee, but did you (as a mentor) come away with any new insights or were there aspects that benefited you?

Their investment focus may be different than mine, and I will learn from them on their particular interest. Their context is also different: I was one of the original “super angels” and I raised one of the first micro-VC funds in history. We had to establish the (sub) asset class and convince LPs it was a worthy bet. It’s totally different today.

Get Involved

Volunteer as a mentor! Check out the program details and sign up by Friday, October 8.

The next round of this program starts in November for VC University ONLINE’s September Scholarship cohort. We’re seeking Experienced VC (5+ investing years’ experience, and Partner level or equivalent) and Peer VC (1-5 investing years’ experience) volunteers to serve as mentors. Pay it forward and join us in supporting the next generation of VC leaders!

Help us spread the word, so we can reach a strong pool of mentors. Here’s some sample content to use.

Tools & Templates Submission Form
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Ecosystem Event Submission