Triphammer’s New Senior Associate Is Looking to Support Cornell Entrepreneurs and the Investors Who Want to Back Them
To Wesley Yiu ‘11, a strong network is extremely important in the VC world. And what better network to be a part of than the Cornell alumni network?
Wesley Yiu is the new Senior Associate at Triphammer Ventures, a VC fund exclusively for Cornell alums. Before joining Triphammer Ventures, Wesley was working different technology and investing roles. He was previously an Associate at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Very quickly, he realized that if he was going to be successful in the VC world, he had to have a strong foundational network.
From that point on, Wesley made it a personal goal of his to reach out to as many VCs as he could, get introductory meetings and calls, and learn as much about the VC world as possible. During that time, he had developed some strong relationships in the space that led him to Alumni Ventures Group — and ultimately to Triphammer. Wesley graduated from Cornell University’s College of Engineering with a BS in Operations Research & Engineering.
We recently spoke with Wesley about his background, current venture trends he finds exciting (including Industry 4.0), and his recommendations about helpful resources for entrepreneurs and individuals interested in VC.
What sparked your interest in working at Triphammer?
The opportunity to co-invest with some of the top VCs in the industry was a clear motivator. Because we are sector and stage agnostic, Triphammer evaluates a breadth of companies, offering a great opportunity to learn something new every day.
What venture trends are you currently excited about?
I’m most excited about the integration of artificial intelligence into new workflows and processes, especially in regards to the industrial sector. We are currently witnessing the rise of Industry 4.0, which can be thought of as leveraging IoT technology to enable systems and machinery to share information in order to analyze data and guide intelligent decision-making.
The rise of Industry 4.0 can be attributed to several disruptive forces:
1) Rapid rise in data volumes, computational power, and connectivity;
2) Emergence of analytics and AI-driven insights;
3) New forms of human-machine interaction such as AR/VR systems; and
4) Improvements in transferring digital instructions to the physical world, such as 3-D printing.
Do you see AI as a direct replacement for humans?
AI is already here, so it’s up to us as humans to respond accordingly. We can either choose to remain complacent and let machines take over and replace us, or we can choose to take advantage of all these advances in AI and use them as a tool to help us get more efficient at our jobs.
At the same time, these systems will be gathering data that is then fed back into the system to improve this function over time, ultimately pushing us to get smarter. I believe some of the most interesting and promising startups will come out of this sector.
You have your own blog, The Unofficial VC, about venture capital. How did that start?
I started The Unofficial VC over a year ago when I first developed a passion for VC. I realized that I needed to become more knowledgeable about the space and learn how to think like a VC when looking at a specific company or industry. On my blog, I have written about topics that I have found personally interesting and particularly topical to VC.
As I have shaped my blog over time, I have found it increasingly important to ensure that I am able to articulate my own viewpoint on a specific company or topic. Some of my most recent pieces include my thoughts on cyber security, AI, and Industry 4.0.
What resources do you recommend to people interested in venture capital or entrepreneurship?
Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has a popular blog that I find quite interesting. He publishes frequently, but his posts are usually quick reads, while still providing a wealth of useful information. I also enjoy listening to the podcast Invest Like the Best hosted by Patrick O’Shaughnessy, where he interviews some of the most well-known investors across different markets.
How have your Cornell experiences and connections influenced your career?
It can’t be stated enough how entrepreneurial the Cornell community truly is. With the recent opening of the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island just last year, Cornell has established a strong footprint in New York City’s growing technology ecosystem. The University has fostered an environment that caters to hungry entrepreneurs who are building new innovative solutions. Having a connection to Cornell and its foundation in tech, I’m thrilled to be in a seat where I get to see this every day.
Triphammer Ventures is a fund for Cornell alums to invest together in the venture capital asset class through Cornell-connected businesses. Click here if you’d like to learn more about investing with Triphammer.