October 28, 2021 | Firm News

McKenzie Parks: Why I Joined Costanoa Ventures

McKenzie Parks

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McKenzie Parks

When a friend offered to introduce me to John Cowgill as a way to meet more people in venture, I thought it would be a great opportunity to broaden my network. I never expected it would lead me to changing  jobs and investment stages.

My first conversation with John was one of the best I’d ever had with another investor. It drove me to more seriously consider early-stage investing and, as I met more of the team, I was struck by how much I wanted to work with and learn from everyone. Picturing myself as a member of the Costanoa investment team slowly became easier and easier. 

Costanoa’s unique approach to working with companies at the early stages was compelling to me and I felt I could have a meaningful impact with companies post-investment. While it seems counterintuitive for someone who studied Applied Math, I really appreciate that early stage investing is more personal and less metrics-driven. You’re often looking at an idea rather than a whole business, so the decision to pull the trigger and invest requires extremely high conviction in – and commitment to – the founding team. 

Finally, I’m excited to be able to work from New York and help strengthen Costanoa’s involvement in the East Coast venture ecosystem. It’s an exciting time to be in early-stage venture and I’m really glad to be at Costanoa.