Interview: Cindy Padnos Illuminate VC
This article was originally published in VatorNews Innovation Series.
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Cindy is an accomplished entrepreneur, turned venture capitalist. Anyone who meets her will undoubtedly notice her mix of cheerfulness and decisiveness. She lives her life in the fast lane, getting milestones accomplished, and pushing the boundaries. She slows down only during the weekend to ride her horse – a childhood passion she rekindled a decade ago – to unwind and clear her mind.
Cindy started her career at AT&T, honing her management skills, and getting exposed to new technologies. She has had a broad and distinguished career, as management consultant, CMO, CEO, founder and investor. She jokes that she worked for smaller and smaller companies until she started her own. And with flying colors she did! Cindy founded and grew several startups to successful exits (M&A and IPO).
Cindy turned to venture capital a decade ago, to try something new, and never looked back. After a successfull tenure at Outlook Ventures, Cindy founded Illuminate Ventures. She has made five investments to-date, in SaaS cloud computing startups (she loves the space). Sixty percent of her portfolio companies have women co-founders, and are doing very well. Cindy has been named one of the most influential women in high tech, and carries her title with zeal.
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