What do a BBQ food truck. Texas Hold’em and the VC investment arm of Disney have in common? Zac, of course. “I like to treat life as an exploration,” he says. “I have PADI and WSET certifications. I had an album and music videos with my friends. I had a food truck that evolved into a restaurant. I’m eager to try new things.”
Of course, he brings this passion to venture capital, and brings it full force. An undergraduate internship at Disney’s suborganization Steamboat Ventures sparked an interest in innovation and fresh ideas, so when the time came he jumped ship for leading boutique investment bank China Renaissance. A subsequent stint at Ventech China saw Zac focused on making investments in Internet, mobile, ecommerce, technology, and consumption sectors. Finally, in 2013, he joined Lightspeed, where he’s spent the last several years investing in people.
“When a founder is pushing all in, that’s when I notice,” Zac says. “If they’re dedicated and willing to devote all the resources he has. I get excited about someone who has a growing reputation.”
Zac hopes that his own reputation as a Zac-of-all-trades will appeal to the fearless founders who share his curiosity and drive. “VC investment has a lot in common with poker,” the hardcore Hold’em player says. “You have to make decisions based on limited information, and make your best guess about whether you have the best odds to win the hand.”