- Christina Cordova is the newest partner of First Round Capital investing in seed stage companies.
- Prior to working on a project, she was the 28th employee at Stripe and also an early hire at Notion.
- Cordova is also an angel investor and has supported over 50 startups.
Christina Cordova has an almost perfect resume for a venture capitalist.
A graduate of Stanford University, she worked as an operator for unicorn startups like Stripe and Notion, and Angel invested in more than 50 startups before landing the coveted partner role at First Round Capital.
But her path to success was only a foregone conclusion.
Cordova grew up as a child of a single mother in Los Angeles and spent much of her early childhood managing her schedule.
“I was definitely a slugger kid,” she told Insider. “I’ve learned to be very independent, self-driven, and motivated.”
It was this drive that led Cordova to her first college internship at Tapulous, an app development startup. A friend offered her an internship there after she left to study abroad and Cordova seized the opportunity. It would eventually change the course of her career.
Cordova first heard at Tapulous the phrase “Venture Capital,” and realized that it could be a viable career path for her in the future. I became fascinated with the inner workings of Silicon Valley’s startup culture, and read as many tech blogs and news sites as possible.
After completing her internship, Cordova landed a job at Pulse, an RSS news feed app, which has since been purchased by Linkedin. At Pulse, she became the Vice President of Business Development at the age of 22.
It was a huge task for Cordova, and she was terrified of the responsibilities at first.
“I had mega impostor syndrome,” she said. “I felt I should hide my age, because I was young.”
Cordova knew she had to dive into the role and learn as she went along, just as she did in Tapulous.
She immediately took on every project she could at Pulse, from securing partnerships with major newspapers to hiring and managing staff across departments. By the time she was 24, she had landed her next role as Head of Partnerships at Stripe and was a major player in acquiring Lyft as a Stripe customer.
While on Stripe, Cordova became curious about angel investing after seeing several of her former co-workers storming the project, participating in the First Round Angel Investing Path Program.
“I consider myself a generalist,” Cordova said. “Angel investing has been my way of learning about all kinds of businesses and seeing how I can be beneficial to a business outside of the space I directly worked in.”
Supported by more than 50 startups. Unlike some Angels, who write a check and have little to do with the company afterward, Cordova has been diving in to help founders with any operational issues they encounter.
After investing in workplace management startup Notion, she became so active in helping the company that she ended up getting a job there as Head of Platforms and Partnerships, and reported directly to the CEO.
Cordova was able to stay close to several partners at First Round Capital that she met during the Angel Investing Program. Thankfully, the project company was looking for a new partner earlier this year, a few months after leaving Notion to focus on full-time angel investment. First Round Partner Brett Pearson knows Cordova well, as the company has also invested in Notion, and the company offered her the joining role after seeing the success of other angel investments.
It was a coincidence for Cordova at the time, who thought it might be a better way for her to interact with and help the founders on a more personal level.
“The relationships I saw on the First Round with its founders felt much deeper and more satisfying to me than just putting in a check as an angel,” she said.