Co-Founder and Managing Partner at SoGal Ventures
The 27 years old Chinese, Pocket Sun, is the Co-Founder of SoGal Ventures, the “first female-led millennial venture capital firm”.
Pocket Sun, born and raised in Dongying, a small city in China, didn’t expect her life to be that different than what she imagined it to be when she was younger.
With a childhood dream of becoming a music producer and 18 years of playing the piano under her belt, becoming a leading entrepreneur was the farthest thing from her mind; however, life had different plans.
At 11, her parents sent her to learn English at a bootcamp where she was probably the youngest one there; and at 18, she went to the United States of America to study at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Back then, Pocket didn’t have the confidence she has now; teamwork, critical thinking, and making presentations were a nightmare for her, not to mention being a non-native English speaker at an American University.
After her graduation, she worked for some time at Motorola in Chicago, and just as her American Visa was about to expire, she found out she was accepted to a new Master’s Program at the USC School of Business. It was there that she learnt all about innovation and entrepreneurship, and it was this that inspired her to leave the corporate life behind and to become an entrepreneur herself.
However, as she was preparing to enter the startup world, she found herself facing one problem: there aren’t enough women entrepreneurs, and not enough startups led by women.
Not only that, but every event, conference, or seminar she attended, she found herself surrounded by men entrepreneurs, men speakers, and men judges.
So, she decided to stray away from the norm and to make a place for herself and other women, and this was what led her to co-found SoGal Ventures with Elizabeth Galbut.
SoGal Ventures is a venture capital firm through which investors, whether individuals or organisations, invest in risky and unproven business ventures. Moreover, both Pocket and Elizabeth, and unlike any other venture capital firm, believe in investing in non-traditional entrepreneurs across all borders. This is because they both see that the world is quickly changing and becoming smaller and more connected, and that all people are becoming “Global Citizens”.
Pocket has always embraced being different, and she believes that being different is an asset; the youngest one in the English boot camp she attended at 11, the Chinese girl in an American University, and a young and female Co-Founder of a venture capital firm, a field that is primarily dominated by men.
Her two core values are: equality and diversity, and she believes that everyone has the power to change the world.
In the period between 2015 and 2017, SoGal Ventures had invested in 43 startups, two of which were acquired.
Pocket Sun is one of the youngest people to be featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine, at the age of 24; not to mention other features of her in BBC, New York Times, LinkedIn, and CCTV, to name a few.
Today, Pocket is a public speaker, opinion leader, and influencer. She has her own podcast with more than one million listeners, as well as being a TV host at the fifth season of Channel NewsAsia’s reality show “Startup”.
Written by Yasmine Mokhtar