Meet The VC: Ilse Calderon of OVO Fund
Meet the VC is a monthly panel event hosted by Early Growth and its partners. Every month, we sit down with a VC to get answers to your questions about fundraising, investment thesis, the current investment climate and more.
There will be Q&A at the end of the interview, so get your questions ready!
This month’s speaker is Ilse Calderon of OVO Fund, a Palo-Alto-based firm that incubates and backs scary early-stage startups.
Ilse Calderon, OVO Fund
Prior to joining OVO (and after graduating from Stanford in 2016), I was at Silicon Valley Bank doing venture debt in their recent grad rotational program. After being there for a little under a year, I decided I wanted to be involved in the equity side of investing.
I joined OVO Fund in December of 2017 because I wanted to be part of a small fund that truly invests in the first round of capital. When I joined, I was the first full-time hire (and still am), and even though my role has always been primarily investing and sourcing companies, I have been able to take on projects across different functions such as portfolio management, LP (limited partner) communication, fund branding, and presenting at internal and external events. On the investing side, I have sourced and led several investments across different sectors. I also have an investment thesis around the future of the U.S. Hispanic youth, I’ve coined it “the Rise of the HC (Hypercultural) Latinx”. As a first-generation Mexican-American, it’s important that I see myself and people that look like me reflected in the founders and investments we make.
We are a venture capital firm based in Palo Alto. OVO incubates and backs scary early-stage startups. We have invested in over 90 technology startups including Palantir, Wish, RelateIQ, Signifyd, Piazza, Addepar, Rhumbix, Juniper Square, Kiwi Crate, Man Crates, Unify ID and other promising companies.
We are investing out of our second fund of $35MM and write early pre-seed checks into exceptional founders with innovative ideas across all capital-efficient sectors. Our typical check size is $250k to $500k.