Michael RomanoChief Business Officer. Menlo Park.
Michael joined Lightspeed in 2013 and is the Chief Business Officer. He manages global capital formation, co-investments, marketing and capital market functions for the firm. He also cultivates new relationships, partnerships, and areas of growth with prospective groups across the VC spectrum.
It’s a spectrum he knows well from 17 years in the alternatives ecosystem leading business development and investor relations roles having raised $15B at Lightspeed and previously as a Vice President at Pomona Capital and then at Liberty Square Asset Management.
But his interest in the field of venture capital harks back to his childhood in New York, where his grandfather, an Italian immigrant who sold and cleaned furnaces, and his father, who built his first business out of the back of a van, were both entrepreneurs.
“I grew up appreciating the hustle, heartache, and tremendous sacrifice entrepreneurs make in pouring themselves into something they truly believe in,” he says. “The entrepreneurial ride, whether you are a small family business or a global enterprise, is rarely a smooth one.”
But that’s where he thrives, he says: “I like the pace, grit, and hustle of a place that is always moving, shifting, and changing within and outside of itself. There is no substitute for sacrifice and a commitment to stop at nothing to see something through if you truly believe in it.”
When he isn’t pouring himself into his work, he’s got his eye on the viewfinder of a camera, shooting black-and-white street photography —a hobby he likens to entrepreneurship. “The most successful entrepreneurs,” he says, “are always the most eloquent in harnessing some creative tool to make their story more accessible, more real, and more relevant.”