Welcome, Lauren Wagner!
Link Ventures welcomes Wagner to the Investment team
Say hello to Lauren Wagner, a new Principal at Link Ventures. This Q&A offers up some background on the former Google/Meta marketer, and what she’ll be doing here at Link. Welcome, Lauren!
I know I just started but I absolutely love Link. I’ve found the team is so thoughtful and forward-thinking. Right from the start I feel like we connected on a lot of levels, from the academic to the esoteric. I think Link’s sector focus is very interesting. I’ve always been interested in how technology impacts society, and Link’s emphasis on consumer-oriented internet companies makes it an excellent match for me. We’re incredibly data driven and at heart I’m a researcher. I’m also excited about the links to MIT and the startup community at large.
Tell us a bit about your early background.
I have a Masters in Health Administration, and my parents were both physicians. That interest took me to a healthcare-focused venture and then a digital health startup. I also completed a Master’s in Social Science of the Internet and was (and am) interested in translating technical concepts to a wider audience. I was also a freelance journalist for a bit, which fed my interest in research.
…and your more recent background.
Working at Google and then Meta gave me a real appreciation for the power of AI and yielded a skillset that I’m now able to apply in an actionable way. I’ll be helping to build out our investment thesis, and using that and industry research (research again!) to frame up our focus areas. I’ll also hopefully be sourcing companies and helping to guide the team toward new opportunities.
What sectors are you passionate about?
I’m naturally a very curious person so I have a wide area of interests. For example, healthcare is a pretty expansive term, but it encompasses a lot of niche communities to join and learn about, like aging in place, that are exploding right now. My past experience in privacy-protected data sharing at Meta is a natural outgrowth of my interest in web3. Link as a company is particularly excited about tooling in web3 right now, and I’m looking forward to meeting more people building in that space.
What qualities do you look for in seed-stage founders?
Because the seed-stage world is so wide-open, I’m looking for people who are trying to solve tangible problems with both current and up-and-coming technology, in new and creative ways. I look at a founder’s experience and background, and at the entire package. Right now, for example, we’re looking at co-investors and competitive companies for web3 in particular and I’m excited about folks reimagining the social web.