I try to talk to people outside my routine community, too, in order to glean out-of-the-box ideas.
Lu Zhang is the founder and managing partner of Fusion Fund, a company dedicated to promoting early-stage venture capital for entrepreneurs. She is also an elite member of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and was nominated as World Economic Forum’s 2018 Young Global Leader. Follow Lu on Twitter.
Where did the idea for Fusion Fund come from?
The word “fusion” brings to mind a sense of energy. The idea came from the basis of nuclear fusion: Small elements come together and result in huge energy and power. This is similar to what I do as a venture capitalist — investing in a tech startup is a combination (or fusion) of tech and innovation. It also involves a mixture of different elements, including culture. My company has a blend of tech, market, capital, and global investments, so Fusion Fund felt like the right fit for where we are and where we’re going.
Today, technology continues to push the boundaries of what we can do. However, it is important to realize it is not just separate pieces of technology that can make the world a better place; it is the combination and the fusion of technologies and applications across industries and disciplines that have far-reaching benefits for society. It is the fusion of a diverse set of backgrounds that provide unique insights, perspectives, and opportunities. To better represent these ideals, we are now Fusion Fund.
Just like nuclear fusion, the combination of different elements can result in explosive growth that isn’t possible from just single components. Here at Fusion Fund, our deep expertise as both experienced technical entrepreneurs and insightful investors enables us to both uniquely identify and assist founders with game-changing visions on new opportunities.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Normally, my day consists of back-to-back meetings with founders, the team, industry leaders, researchers, and investors. While we have a lot of meetings, we do our best not to hold them for longer than an hour. We also strive to make each meeting very results-driven and solution-driven. Beyond meetings, I always make time for critical thinking and also self-independent thinking — like building up my own unique algorithm with a great data set.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I analyze the situation, and then execute quickly to see the result.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Artificial intelligence in healthcare and edge computing.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As an investor, multitasking is imperative.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Independent thinking, especially when receiving lots of data and information every day. I try to talk to people outside my routine community, too, in order to glean out-of-the-box ideas.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I spend capital and resources to find and attract the best talent.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I tried to do everything by myself; now, I’m building a great team.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Nano-robot application for brain disease.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought “The Physics of Wall Street” by James Owen Weatherall,, “Algorithms to Live By” by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths, and “How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking” by Jordan Ellenberg.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Airtable is a creative organization app that is part spreadsheet, part database. I use it as a priority list for myself and my team and to also build up databases for my companies.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable” by James Owen Weatherall.
“Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions” by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths.
What is your favorite quote?
“The best is yet to come.”
- Recognize the importance of independent thinking and critical thinking, which is imperative to innovation and being an investor.
- Don’t just follow the buzzwords, but choose the truly disruptive tech or product that others haven’t paid attention to or discovered yet.
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