'The Grow Wire Podcast' Ep. 03: When's It Right To Take A Risk? Venture Capitalist Deborah Farrington Dives In.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

  By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire

In short:

  • Deborah Farrington is a cofounder of one of the largest women-majority-owned venture capital firms in the U.S., StarVest Partners.
  • In this week’s episode of “The Grow Wire Podcast,” Farrington chats with host Jason Maynard about her path to VC success.
  • She also offers three pieces of wisdom for those looking to take a leap in their careers.

We talk a lot about risk-taking in business -- from making that big career leap to investing in a new company to starting your own business from scratch. But how do you know you’re actually making the right move?

Well, on this week’s episode of “The Grow Wire Podcast,” host Jason Maynard seeks the answer to that very question.

Deborah Farrington is the co-founder and a managing partner at StarVest Partners venture capital firm. It’s one of the largest women-majority-owned firms in the U.S. and invests in technology-enabled, business-to-business services companies. But before all of that, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Harvard and started her career in the late ‘70s as one of the few females in investment banking with Merrill Lynch -- a time during which she learned a lot about herself, the importance of accepting a challenge and why she felt confident taking risks.

So, after 10 years and six different roles, Farrington decided to leave her comfortable position with Merrill Lynch to be a “bigger fish in a smaller pond” in order to “move faster, have more responsibility and stand out more.”

She ended up taking on a role as the Managing Director of the Hong Kong-based merchant bank Asian Oceanic Group, focusing on direct investing. Five years later, she teamed up with Harvard alums to run a multi-strategy private equity firm called Victory Ventures, after which she knew she was ready to take yet another risky career path.

In 1999, she followed her passion for investing and growing businesses and started her own venture capital firm, StarVest Partners.

Needless to say, Farrington is a savvy risk-taker with some great advice for anyone who’s looking to take a leap in their own career. Listen for yourself above or on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and YouTube, and make sure to write down her three biggest bits of guidance for all entrepreneurs, go-getters and risk-takers.

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