Amanda grew up in a family of entrepreneurs in South Africa and witnessed injustices early in life, which inspired her to make a positive impact in the world. Though she initially wanted to go into politics, she found her calling in the world of venture capital, where she quickly discovered the glass ceiling for women in the industry. But instead of seeing it as a barrier, she has turned it into an opportunity to stand out.
Amanda believes that pressure and challenge are privileges that allow her to grow and learn, and she is fascinated by how people think and make decisions. She values respecting other people's time and understands the importance of building a strong network of supporters and mentors.
In this podcast, Amanda shares her experiences and wisdom, encouraging us all to have an opinion and use our voices. She emphasizes the importance of conviction in one's professional life and explains how using guardrails protects her personal life.
Join us as we learn from Amanda's journey and gain valuable insights on how to navigate the challenges of a competitive industry.
[02:37] How Amanda grew up and arrived at career in venture capital
[08:24] Moving forward despite uncertainty
[12:03] Identifying your circle
[16:06] Being a woman in venture capital
[20:16] Getting started in the venture capital world
[24:21] Integrating work and personal life
[29:58] Lightning round questions
“One of the key things to being able to jump is really seeking out people who believe in you.” – Amanda Herson
“Pressure is a privilege and being challenged is a privilege.” – Amanda Herson
“Lean into your strengths and own your weaknesses.” – Amanda Herson
Lightning Round Questions
What book has greatly influenced you?
“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?
If I am not for me, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I?”
What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?
What is one change you've implanted that made your life better?
Health always has to come first. Sleep and exercise make you a better person.
What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?
“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
Amanda is a Partner at Founder Collective, a leading seed-stage venture capital firm with several Midas list appearances. Prior to returning to investing, she has spent the last several years building and growing one of the largest omni-channel retailers in South Africa, launching their e-commerce and expanding the footprint to over 300 stores and serves on the Board of Cape Union Mart.
Amanda was Highland Consumer Fund investing in and growing retail and consumer goods companies. Previously, she was at L Brands in New York, launching new beauty brands and focusing on growth and innovation. She began her career at Boston Consulting Group in New York.
Amanda has a passion for building strong cultures in growing companies and an operational background in building e-commerce companies from the ground-up and has become a trusted advisor to several entrepreneurs.
Amanda completed her Undergraduate in Economics at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently resides in New York, is a mom of three + a sheepadoodle, a Central Park enthusiast, with a side passion for healthy cooking and living.
LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda-herson-9616802/