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BusinessCraigslist Job Leads to Unicorn-Venture Riches: Wesley Chan's Humble Start as a...

Craigslist Job Leads to Unicorn-Venture Riches: Wesley Chan’s Humble Start as a Lab Beaker Washer


Only a few years ago, Wesley Chan was scrubbing test tubes and washing lab equipment for minimum wage. Today, the venture capitalist is sitting on a golden pile after massively successfully exits from two unicorn startups. Chan's story serves as an inspiration that with determination and hard work, anybody's circumstances can change.

As a university student struggling to make ends meet, Chan answered a Craigslist ad for a part-time lab assistant gig. Though the job involved long hours carefully cleaning beakers and apparatus, he approached each task with diligence knowing it was paying his tuition fees. His upbeat attitude and exceptional work ethic caught the eye of his boss, who mentioned having VC connections. On a whim, Chan asked for an informational interview and was hooked on startup investing.

He plunged into learning all he could about companies, markets and deal-making. Nights were spent researching industries and analytics, along with reaching out to founders asking for mentorship. Persistence paid off as Chan eventually landed his first role as an associate with a boutique VC firm. There he gained experience evaluating opportunities, conducting due diligence and helping portfolio companies with operations and strategy.

A few years in, Chan took the plunge to become an independent angel investing on his own. His sixth bet was on a financial services platform that achieved unicorn status through rapid expansion. The exit returned a 10x return for early backers. Emboldened, Chan put money behind another strategic SaaS startup led by a rockstar founder. When it was acquired for over $500 million, Chan had firmly cemented his success as an investor.

Today Chan runs his own early-stage fund, assisting visionary founders to scale globally. For university students struggling to find their path, his unique journey serves as an inspiration that success stems from grinding through challenges with enthusiastic perseverance. Where there's a will, there's always a way.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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