Get to know First Believer Natalie Piucco
Location? Australian-born, typically London-based, currently in Australia.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Cloud Technologist and Global Practice Lead in Google Cloud. Having launched 4 early-stage products at Google in software, hardware and services, my superpower is my fusion of cloud architecture and early-stage product development.
I am a human API (a connector of people), a Major in Curiosity (if that was a thing), and enjoying diving into the venture capital pool (including writing my first cheque) to support early-stage businesses that help make the world a better place with technology, sustainability, health, life sciences and SaaS- based solutions at scale.
What is First Believers to you?
A mini MBA in venture capital.
It’s an opportunity to fast forward or 10X (as we say at Google X) the acceleration of my VC skills. I was able to network by learning alongside some of the best VCs in the industry, seeing how they make their investment decisions in team, product, technology, market opportunity, business models, and, in my case, taking it all the way to getting my Sophisticated Investor Certificate and writing my first check.
How will the world be different in 10 years?
The most technologically progressive era was during the Great Depression, followed by the financial crisis of 2008, with a record number of new businesses and innovations.
History and data would tell us the post-COVID-19-pandemic era will make the next 10 years a third wave of innovation!
My personal vision for the next 10 years:
- I will be able to see all sorts of data about my body reserved for expensive health care technology through wearables;
- 2-3 hour delivery won’t be a novelty but expected;
- Gen Z will be one of the most financially literate generations and will have cracked open the investing world to make it more accessible;
- I’ll have 1 view in my banking and financial data, despite being with different banks;
- Medical care will be tailored to the DNA of our bodies;
- You might have gone on a luxury space travel flight;
- We’ve mapped the streets, and will do the same with the sky and ocean;
- Quantum computing will be provided as a service; and
- Portfolio careers will rise.
How has your perception of angel investing changed since going through the First Believers program?
Investing achieves exactly what I hoped it would. Namely, a chair on a rocketship, where I can be helpful, learning alongside and continuously exposed to some of the fastest growing technology companies in the world, while hopefully making a return.
Capital aside, investor or not, most of us have a VC voice and thesis.
I’ve come to believe being an investor is a choice to consciously recognise patterns in your everyday life — maybe you’re consuming responsibly, pretending to be fit in expensive activewear, talking with your least techi friends about blockchain, or using a buy-now-pay-later service.
Investing is about recognising patterns in what the world needs, what you’re interested in, the domino effects of success in one industry on another downstream (I call this the adjacent possible), and finally, building a network and skills to be helpful in solving those problems.
What’s the best piece of advice you received as a First Believer and who gave it to you?
Blackbird Ventures Partner Nick Crocker told me that investors make decisions for simple reasons. If it’s too complex, it’s likely you’re going to have to convince yourself and others.
What advice would you give someone about to go through the First Believers program?
Investing and the First Believers program doesn’t have to be about writing a cheque (although for some people it can be). It could be scratching an itch and seeing where it goes.
Be clear on what you bring to the table for founders and how you can be helpful on the ride.
In my experience it might be using a network, providing capital, giving early-stage product development advice, helping make a technical message resonate with non-technical audiences or supporting cloud architectural discussions.
Most of all, just get started, and know that what you get out is what you put in.
Introducing First Believers…
First Believers is a six-month program inspired by Startmate’s original mentors.
We believe to create a truly diverse and powerful startup ecosystem across Australia and New Zealand, we need more fresh perspectives, thinking and networks coming to the investment table. First Believers is the catalyst for a new generation of investors.
If you are thinking of building a career in venture, want to build confidence in making angel investment decisions, or want to better understand the investor’s lens, First Believers is the place for you.