It’s been an exciting first few weeks for me at NVCA, jumping right in with a flight to the Bay Area to attend NVCA’s board meeting and other activities. In speaking with various board members and industry participants thus far, I have been met with a warm welcome and thought-provoking words of wisdom, as well as the vibrant energy with which the VC industry has become synonymous. Five days, two cross-country flights, and a few hours spent zipping around Sand Hill Road in a baby blue VW Beetle with NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin later, I find myself thoroughly impressed by NVCA’s members, mission and staff. I look forward to getting to know the organization better over the coming months and to helping it continue to empower the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem via my role as NVCA’s new Vice President of research.
Prior to NVCA, my entire professional career has revolved around the venture capital and private equity research world, and I consider myself a bit of a data nerd. Through it all, what I’ve enjoyed the most has been taking meaningless sets of numbers and datasets and producing meaningful content for decision makers.
Most recently, I managed the research and data programs at EMPEA—the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets, overseeing ongoing data collection, analysis, and dissemination to provide insight on private capital in emerging markets. Though I was based in DC, covering emerging markets naturally took me overseas quite often. During my time at EMPEA, I attended more than 30 global industry events, presenting VC/PE data at over 15 of them. From my travels to cities like Singapore, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, and Dubai, it quickly became clear the increasing importance venture capital plays in funding entrepreneurs in developing countries, and how these countries continue to look to the U.S. ecosystem as a benchmark.
I started my career in the Private Equity and Venture Capital division of Dow Jones & Company in San Francisco and supported its flagship product VentureSource. From data collection and survey administration to data analysis, database management, and fielding media/academic requests, I was immersed in all aspects of research and data related to the investment cycle of the global venture capital industry.
While at Dow Jones, I also co-authored the study “Women at the Wheel: Do Female Executives Drive Start-up Success?” which examined the impact female senior executives have had on the venture capital industry. This research fueled my interest in better understanding and addressing gender diversity issues in the ecosystem. Since moving to DC, I’ve formed and led the DC Women in Private Equity & Venture Capital Group, which convenes a professional network of 70+ local women in the industry through quarterly events. I was excited to learn about the launch of NVCA’s Diversity Task Force earlier this year, and I look forward to working more closely with my NVCA colleagues on this initiative.
I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Science in Policy and Management and a minor in International Relations, and I strive to continue to carry the mantra deeply ingrained in me at CMU – “My heart is in the work,” the famous words of the school’s founder, Andrew Carnegie.
I live in the Logan Circle area of Washington, DC, and enjoy biking and traveling in my spare time. I’m also an avid soccer fan, closely following the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, and have secured my tickets to the Euro 2016 tournament in France in June!
Maryam serves as Executive Director of Venture Forward, NVCA’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit supporting organization focused on shaping the future of venture capital.
Before transitioning to launch and lead Venture Forward, Maryam was the Senior Vice President of Industry Advancement at NVCA, where she led NVCA’s initiatives focused on advancing the venture industry – research and data, education, and diversity and inclusion, and incubated several Venture Forward initiatives.