The Startup Playbook Podcast

Insights and lessons from the world's best entrepreneurs and investors

Ep188 – Jessy Wu (Partner – AfterWork VC) on brand, storytelling and community powered VC

My guest for Ep188 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was Jessy Wu.

Jessy is a partner of AfterWork Ventures, a $20M pre-seed and seed stage Venture Capital Fund.

She has a background in English literature and linguistics and has used her power of storytelling to build a powerful brand not just for herself but also for AfterWork VC, allowing them to compete for deals against large incumbents.

In this episode we covered a variety of topics including:

  • Jessy’s background in linguistics and philosophy and how she applies that to investing today
  • The value of building a personal brand, and the strategy she’s used to build her own
  • How to build a challenger brand that competes against large incumbents
  • and much more!


  • 1:37 Jessy’s background
  • 15:50 Core tenets of storytelling and character development when writing
  • 21:02 Strategies for building a professional personal brand
  • 29:01 Building a challenger brand in VC
  • 38:07 Dealing with the negatives and criticism that can come from creating content
  • 42:27 Building a community powered VC
  • 52:05 Insight into the investment decision making process for AfterWork and other funds
  • 58:52 Grapevine: an initiative bringing awareness and pragmatic discourse around abuses of power in the tech ecosystem

Our partners

A big thank you to Fab Mackojc, Daniel Wang and Mike Forster for their help with this interview!

Also a big shout out to our partners for the show:


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Links mentioned

Jessy’s links

People mentioned

Companies mentioned

Feedback/connect/say hello:

[email protected]
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel


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