Allen

_

Zhu

// Investment Associate

Allen

_

Zhu

// Investment Associate
// I Work For
// I Work For
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I was three years old when my family migrated to Sydney from a small rural town in Southern China. My parents were equipped with English from the Chinese equivalent of a Lonely Planet travel guide. I grew up speaking strictly Chinese at home and English outside of home, which became a forcing mechanism to help me understand both my own culture and that of our new home. The cultural alternating made it hard for me to fit in, and I found myself gravitating towards books, tech gadgets and virtual worlds instead of spending time outdoors. These early experiences helped me accept and eventually adapt to a human experience that is a hybrid of real and virtual.

Falling into a computer science degree had a deep impact on my world-view and capabilities. At the time I graduated high school I enrolled in a science degree for a psychology major and ended up falling into computer science and finance degree, a bit by chance. It was undoubtedly the best thing that happened to me academically. It enabled me to think like an engineer and better understand the tools and software products I use everyday.

My career started in the world of infrastructure M&A at Citi – I left this role to  join a tech company as a product manager. I had to put to one side a lot of the hard skills, processes and organisational frameworks I’d established and become familiar with in the corporate world to  develop entirely new working models and skills for the tech world. This experience helped me cultivate a deep empathy for the software development journey and an appreciation for the builders and operators in our world.

I can’t remember a time where I haven’t been fascinated by startups and the value that they can bring into the world. In high school, I tried running my own digital marketing agency, which failed after losing my only non-related customer. In university, I built an outdoor training app that struggled to reach any meaningful size. My most recent pursuit was a direct to consumer food startup, which after growing to a top 3 rated brand in the category, we were able to successfully exit. 

In my view, venture capital requires a generalist perspective and the ability to move between, and appreciate different worlds. I’ve found that in life I am always moving between different worlds – culturally, academically and professionally. Time and time again I’m reminded that  many of the best perspectives come from an ability to navigate and analogise across vastly different domains.

Outside of work I have an affinity for all kinds of games, with a particular soft-spot for video games. I fell out of touch with them for a while, as mainstream thinking had me convinced that it was a waste of time. I’ve since come to appreciate the beauty of games, the communities it can create and the strategic thinking it fosters.

I was three years old when my family migrated to Sydney from a small rural town in Southern China. My parents were equipped with English from the Chinese equivalent of a Lonely Planet travel guide. I grew up speaking strictly Chinese at home and English outside of home, which became a forcing mechanism to help me understand both my own culture and that of our new home. The cultural alternating made it hard for me to fit in, and I found myself gravitating towards books, tech gadgets and virtual worlds instead of spending time outdoors. These early experiences helped me accept and eventually adapt to a human experience that is a hybrid of real and virtual.

Falling into a computer science degree had a deep impact on my world-view and capabilities. At the time I graduated high school I enrolled in a science degree for a psychology major and ended up falling into computer science and finance degree, a bit by chance. It was undoubtedly the best thing that happened to me academically. It enabled me to think like an engineer and better understand the tools and software products I use everyday.

My career started in the world of infrastructure M&A at Citi – I left this role to  join a tech company as a product manager. I had to put to one side a lot of the hard skills, processes and organisational frameworks I’d established and become familiar with in the corporate world to  develop entirely new working models and skills for the tech world. This experience helped me cultivate a deep empathy for the software development journey and an appreciation for the builders and operators in our world.

I can’t remember a time where I haven’t been fascinated by startups and the value that they can bring into the world. In high school, I tried running my own digital marketing agency, which failed after losing my only non-related customer. In university, I built an outdoor training app that struggled to reach any meaningful size. My most recent pursuit was a direct to consumer food startup, which after growing to a top 3 rated brand in the category, we were able to successfully exit. 

In my view, venture capital requires a generalist perspective and the ability to move between, and appreciate different worlds. I’ve found that in life I am always moving between different worlds – culturally, academically and professionally. Time and time again I’m reminded that  many of the best perspectives come from an ability to navigate and analogise across vastly different domains.

Outside of work I have an affinity for all kinds of games, with a particular soft-spot for video games. I fell out of touch with them for a while, as mainstream thinking had me convinced that it was a waste of time. I’ve since come to appreciate the beauty of games, the communities it can create and the strategic thinking it fosters.