Episode 20: Jake Chapman on Optimism and the Future of Venture Capital

August 27, 2021
updated on

From lawyer to venture capitalist, this week’s guest is always looking to the future. An optimist with an interest in science fiction, he sees investing as an avenue to create a future in which his daughter will live. This week, you’ll hear Jake Chapman’s journey to co-founding Alpha Bridge Ventures.

Despite being pseudo-rejected once for undergrad and another time for law school, Jake persisted and ended up with two degrees from UC Berkeley. His introduction to investing, however, came after law school. At the time, he was working at a firm that represented venture capital companies. It was there that he knew he wanted to “be the principal, not the agent,”and thus he left the firm to start his own business. After several attempts and with growing experience in the industry, Jake decided he wanted to build something big and institutional. Alpha Bridge Ventures was born in 2018 and has been his primary focus ever since.

In this episode, Jake provides exclusive advice to founders and shares the stories and passions that made him who he is today. Whether or not you are an entrepreneur, this is a compelling and encouraging listen.

Favorite Moments

  • (4:55) Interstellar travel
  • (14:00) Universal studios
  • (21:08) Reinventing himself
  • (31:15) Building skill sets
  • (46:30) Atlas report
  • (58:30) Poker vs. venture

About Jake Chapman

Jake is a technology optimist and believes that, while not perfect, technology holds the key to solving the greatest challenges faced by humankind and in so doing will generate great wealth. At Alpha Bridge, Jake focuses on companies working at the edge of technology in sectors like autonomy, robotics, space, advanced sensors, AI, synthetic biology, and next-generation foods.

Prior to Alpha Bridge Ventures, Jake took a complete turn around the world of technology. He began his career as an attorney working for venture firms, where he quickly realized that he preferred being on the business side of transactions. After leaving the practice of law behind, Jake took on operational and strategic roles in several startups before launching a couple companies of his own. After minor success as an inventor and founder, Jake co-founded Gelt Venture Capital, where he led seed-stage investments.

When not working with founders or researching new frontiers in technology, Jake enjoys writing. He has been published in TechCrunch, WIRED, Forbes, Venture Beat, and US News & World Report, among other publications. Jake is also a certified sommelier, an amateur boxer, and a former poker dealer.

Jake is a mentor at 500 Startups and Runway SF. He is also a featured judge on Season 2 of Gimlet’s “The Pitch” podcast, which is distributed to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs nationwide.




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