We are thrilled to announce that Laura Chau has been promoted to GP at Canaan.
This is a proud moment for all of us. It brings me back to Laura’s earliest days at Canaan, even before she officially joined the firm. I vividly remember interviewing Laura for the analyst position more than eight years ago. From her quiet confidence, her articulate responses, and just all the intangibles, it was abundantly clear that whether it was at Canaan or elsewhere, she would go on to do big things. The best part is that she’s still the same person that walked in our door in 2014. We’re so lucky she did.
The role of a GP has changed since then, and the bar for a great investor and board member is higher than ever. Laura continually clears it. We gave her a lot of rope early on in her career at Canaan. She was writing checks right out of GSB and championed deals when established thinking would have failed. Over the years, she’s become a special investor who cares deeply about founders, who they are, what they value, and how they do in challenging circumstances.
Her commitment to entrepreneurs is one big reason they love working with her. Everyone who works with her always returns saying nearly the same thing: “Laura is perfect.” They gravitate toward her intellect, curiosity, and hustle. Her tenacity to grow her portfolio and build meaningful relationships have made her an invaluable part of Canaan. As Dan Park, founder of Clutch, put it, “Laura is everything a founder would want in a VC partner and board member. She sets a high bar for success, champions operating discipline, and is empathetic of the challenges of building a business. She embraces the finer details while also helping guide long-term strategy and vision for the business.”
The entrepreneurial journey is one of the more challenging paths one can choose, but the outcomes can be transformational for individuals, companies, and entire industries. There is nothing Laura loves more than serving as a trusted advisor in that process, whether in good times or bad. She never claims to have all the answers, but she always listens and offers a POV steeped in firsthand experiences and hard data. She also has the steadiest of hands during inevitable crises. The last thing entrepreneurs need is a board member who chides them and digs in on what they should have done. Instead, Laura offers shrewd guidance and inspires confidence.
Beyond her investments, she’s an indispensable part of our culture. From the beginning, she’s viewed herself as an owner of Canaan, devoting herself to our long-term projectability and continued diversity around the table and in our portfolio. (I’m happy to say that this focus has always been core to Canaan, even 22 years ago when I joined the firm.)
The abridged version: Laura Chau is the real deal. We’re incredibly fortunate to work with her at Canaan.