Hi, I'm Dom

Currently investing at Ripple Ventures across enterprise, creator, and developer tools in Web2/Web3.

Also, building the RippleX Fellowship Program.

I write a lot ✍️. You can find me on:

About Me

Hey 👋 thanks for coming by! If I haven't met you yet, I'm Dominic. To get to know me well, I'm going to share where I like spending my time with respect to a few key themes.

Work

Life

How I became a venture capitalist

A lot of people ask me this. So I'll walk you through my story:

  1. Accounting: I don't come from a "traditional" background to become a VC. I was an accountant. I was first introduced to startups from the inside when working with a startup in the BNPL space before Affirm became mainstream. Fell in love with the company culture, new technology being created, and honestly the people working there. This kickstarted my journey into wanting to find ways that I could work with more startups.
  2. Case Competitions: While in school, I did a shit load of case competitions. Probably did one almost every month for over a year. Not all startup and VC related though, it was all across the board. Stock pitches, consulting cases, startup idea competitions, and one venture capital competition. I wanted to be sure that this was the industry that really piqued my interest, so I got multiple data points across different types of jobs through competitions. Nothing came even close to what I felt when I was doing the venture capital one. Everything else felt like work. This didn't.
  3. Networking: So now that I knew I wanted to get into venture, I needed to talk to people who have done it before. I need advice because in 2016 there weren't 50 different fellowship programs that I could apply to and get some experience or network in VC. I reached out to alumni from my program and some local investors as well. Thank you to all of you who gave me your time and let me ask questions on your story, as well as tips to follow in your footsteps. I would not be here without you.
  4. Freelancing: The common advice most people gave me was to get some sort of relevant experience to stand out among the crowd. So I went on Upwork and freelanced for emerging managers and tech execs trying to start their own fund. Anything from pitch decks to fund models. I was learning on the fly, but only I had to know that. I also worked with a few startups on pitch decks, financial models, and marketing budget allocation. I was literally just trying to get any experience that I could.
  5. Writing: Another mentor suggested that I pushed out some blog posts too to showcase my interest in tech and startups, so that's what I did. One of the first ever pieces I wrote was how AI was changing the NBA (because I love basketball) and some companies that were creating that change. A really fun little project I had, and got me into writing in public.
  6. Getting Involved: I reached out to local accelerators and incubators with the goal of getting experience working with early-stage companies. I did office hours, and eventually partnered closer with a few companies. Thank you to the program managers and founders that trusted me to work with you even though I was a nobody with barely any experience.
  7. First Internship: Before my job at Ripple Ventures, I had a short internship at another fund in Toronto. I got exposed to fund management, due diligence, and ecosystem building there. Thank you to the team there for taking a bet on me.
  8. Meeting Matt: While I was graduating, I was honestly having a really tough time finding a job. There aren't many VC internships, let alone full time positions. I tried applying for everything from product, to operations, to even traditional finance jobs. I got rejected from almost everything. For some reason, Matt posted a job on Waterloo's platform and I immediately applied and reached out. I don't even remember how I got his phone number but we hopped on a call the same day and we hit it off. We've never looked back since, and I'm grateful for Matt taking a chance on me, trusting me to help build Ripple Ventures with him.

5+ years of experience.

I work closely with early-stage founders to help them build venture scale companies.

My superpowers are helping teams understand their markets, ensure they're building the right products, and raise capital through a compelling story.

Areas of Expertise

Venture Capital →

Market & Product Discovery →

Growth & GTM Strategy →

Finance & Fundraising →

Let's chat!

I'd love to talk with you! Email me, or message me on Twitter.


Dominic Lau

Copyright © 2021 Dominic Lau. All rights reserved.