Jerry never imagined he would end up in the world of venture capital. A first generation immigrant from a small agrarian village in China, his parents worked odd jobs and in sweatshops to support him and his brother. Needless to say, his upbringing helped reinforce that hard-work, determination, and a lot of luck can go a long way.
After earning his BS in Electrical Engineering Computer Science and MIMS (Masters of Information Management and Systems) from Berkeley, Jerry’s career blossomed at Yahoo! Labs as a Senior Research Engineer, where he worked on machine learned ranking in search, news recommendation systems, and models for optimizing click through rates and revenue. He then went on to serve as Lead Data Scientist at Drawbridge, where he focused on architecting and implementing a scalable machine learning system capable of training on terabytes of data, billions of samples, and millions of features on a daily basis.
In 2013, a friend introduced him to venture capital, and he quickly learned that despite the abundance of external data on company performance, few firms leveraged that data in their investment process. Venture capital seemed like the perfect industry to leverage his big data and machine learning experience to create a unique advantage. He went on to become a Founding Partner and Head of Data Science at SignalFire, one of the first venture capital firms to leverage data for deal sourcing and portfolio support. During the four years he was there, SignalFire went from almost missing payroll to $380 million under management. Jerry’s experience eventually led him to Lightspeed, where he joined as partner in 2018 to head the data initiative.
Jerry was attracted to Lightspeed because of the firm’s investment track record and ability of the partnership in identifying and accessing the best deals. “We already do a great job at evaluating and winning deals,” said Jerry. “I help with widening the aperture so that we can algorithmically see more of what is happening in the startup ecosystem. Data on company performance is generated every second. I extort signal from data.”
When Jerry’s not busy with his two boys, he loves traveling and meeting with great entrepreneurs. He’s a fierce believer in the American Dream and is passionate about helping others achieve it.