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Meet Olivia Gaudree of Rokk3r Fuel ExO

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Gaudree.

Olivia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I think the best way to tell my story is to start with the present and work my way backwards. Since graduating from Florida State University, where I studied and earned a degree in finance, I’ve worked as an analyst for a venture capital firm here in Miami called Rokk3r Fuel ExO.

I’ve always had an interest in entrepreneurship, and the levers being pulled behind the scenes of any entrepreneurial endeavor – the money behind it, basically, among other factors.

My parents were both entrepreneurs, and I interned at an amazing boutique investment management firm called Blue Shores Capital during high school and college, where I met a passionate portfolio manager named Maggie Vo, who today I work with at Rokk3r Fuel.

For a moment there, I thought I might work in investment banking, maybe in New York City. But venture capital eventually emerged as a no-brainer for me because I love working directly with entrepreneurs.

Rokk3r Fuel, in particular, appealed to me because of its values and approach – the partners assess all of the thousands of potential investments that come through the door in a really holistic way, which they refer to as a marriage of science and art. Because I identify with that same duality, it felt like the right place for me.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I struggled with indecision a bit when I was younger, during those first few years of high school when you start to wonder what you might do “when you grow up.” My parents recognized that I had a tendency to waver among a zillion things. They encouraged me to try internships or get part-time jobs so I would hopefully be able to zero in on what I really liked, and maybe facilitate the Big Decision of what to major in as a college student.

Since graduating, I’ve definitely been exposed to challenges because the profession I chose is a complex one. And I’m relatively young for someone in a venture capital analyst role. There’s definitely a learning curve. What’s made these obstacles easier, though, is the fact that I’ve always had mentors who I could lean on, including Maggie, who serves as Rokk3r Fuel’s General Partner and Chief Investment Officer and who I worked under at Blue Shores.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Rokk3r Fuel ExO – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I work as an analyst at a venture capital firm that invests in technology startups of all sizes and across multiple industries (advertising, marketing, and music, I work as an analyst at a venture capital firm that invests in technology startups of all sizes and across multiple industries (advertising, marketing, and music, just to name a few), with individual investments ranging from $250,000 to around $10 million.

Off the bat, you might assume that as an analyst, I stare at spreadsheets all day. There’s a little bit of that, but so much more. For one, I’m responsible for guiding the founders of our potential portfolio companies through the many stages of due diligence – when we evaluate their company to determine whether we should invest.

Internally, there’s also a major sales component to working at a venture capital firm. We speak to potential fund investors, or Limited Partners, almost every day. I’ve had to break out of my shell to make the most of these face-to-face opportunities.

Another routine part of my job is actually assessing potential investments for Rokk3r Fuel, of which we receive more than 5,000 per year. With roughly 260 business days a year (and we often work on weekends, too), that means I’m helping analyze at least 19 deals a day at the office. I’ve had to seriously refine my time-management skills.

The day-to-day routine aside though, I love that we get to help entrepreneurs transform business plans into living, breathing companies that we hope will make a major positive impact on the lives of millions and millions of people all over the world. It feels good to work toward something so much bigger than myself.

What are you striving for, what criteria or markers have you set as indicators of success?
I have a hard time defining successes in a pragmatic way because I try to not to work toward material things or a specific vision of my life. I prefer to think about success as something you “achieve” if you’re fulfilled.

If I can keep growing in a profession I love and can continue learning and feeding my curiosity, I’ll be fulfilled. And by extension, have achieved success.

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