The venture business is a strange profession. It doesn’t require a single skill or discipline. It requires a range of expertise. Great venture capitalists have extensive networks built on top of meaningful relationships. They have a broad understanding of technology and a good sense of what’s coming next. They are thoughtful operators who can help advise executives. They have a strong deal sense and are able to get stuff done. And they understand people and can motivate those around them. Finding one individual who can meet all these criteria is a huge challenge for any venture firm looking to add to their team.
Given these challenging criteria, it is not terribly surprising that we have spent nearly two years at August Capital looking for just the right person. So It is with great excitement that I introduce the newest member of our team — Villi Iltchev. Villi has spent the last dozen years helping to build amazing technology companies. He is joining us directly from a stint as head of strategy and corporate development at Box. Before that he served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy for Salesforce. In both of those positions, Villi was given the mandate to explore a broad range of technology companies, investing in some and acquiring others. That experience served as the perfect precursor to the venture business.
As impressive as Villi is as a business leader, we were particularly excited to have him join us after we got to know him as a person. Villi is a wonderful guy who cares deeply about relationships. He has learned the power of betting on great people, as others had bet on him along the way. Villi spent his early childhood in Bulgaria, but his family migrated to Greece in search of greater freedom and opportunity. His parents sacrificed everything to provide a better childhood for Villi. He saw even greater opportunity across the ocean and found his way to the US for boarding school, then college, then business school. In every instance, he had amazing mentors who helped a smart kid from Bulgaria succeed. And Villi has carried that with him. He is now a great mentor to up and coming entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Ultimately, he believes in the power of people in the same way that others have believed in him.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Villi joining us at August. His insight into the software and SaaS world is spectacular. He’s demonstrated great foresight when it comes to the future of technology. And he has a wonderful community of entrepreneurs and executives who count him as a friend. We are lucky to have Villi around the table and look forward to collaborating with him for many years to come.