Here at WIM we are lucky to have some pretty incredible sponsors and partners. One of those is Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a bank dedicated to serving the tech community, among other sectors. SVB has helped fund over 30,000 startups to date. We had a chance to catch up with Regina Chien, one the SVB banking associates working closely with tech startups.
1. You have the awesome job of being an Entrepreneur Banking Associate at Silicon Valley Bank. What does an Entrepreneur Banking Associate do, exactly?
I do enjoy my job! My goal as an Entrepreneur Banking Associate is to help early stage tech companies take care of their bottom lines. I do that by delivering customized banking solutions that are as flexible and agile as these early-stage tech companies are.
2. You started out working in traditional investment banking on Wall Street. What led you to make the switch to Silicon Valley Bank?
In 2008 I was training to be a credit risk analyst so the timing for my switch couldn’t have been better. But it wasn’t the market downturn that prompted my move to the FinTech space. Mainly it was not connecting with the company culture of Wall Street firms. I was looking for a more entrepreneurial and innovative environment and I found that at SVB.
3. Word on the street says you found your job at SVB through Twitter?
Yes! A colleague tweeted about a job opening that combined tech and banking. I never expected to find such an exciting job via a tweet!
4. You’ve been with Silicon Valley Bank for over two years now. What kind of growth opportunities have you had there?
At SVB we are encouraged to jump in and solve problems. We know that one size fits all doesn’t work for tech startups so thinking outside the box is the norm. A great example of this came about during Hurricane Sandy, when we transformed our Midtown office space into a temporary co-working space for several of our clients.
5. You were a Startup Leadership Program (SLP) fellow and now you serve as one of the New York program’s co-leaders. What made you get involved with SLP?
I applied to be an SLP fellow because I wanted to make sure I really understood what my clients were going through as startups. I was in the same class as a few of my clients and got to do everything from pitching a company to evaluating a termsheet. I love creating learning environments for passionate and interesting people so I decided to stay on as a co-leader. The experience has been both incredibly busy and incredibly rewarding!
6. What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a WIM company on managing their assets?
A best practice guideline I give to companies that receive funding is to keep their funds safe and liquid.
7. Any new trends in tech startups to keep an eye on?
FinTech and wellness are definitely two spaces to watch. Like me, people are leaving traditional finance careers to solve cutting-edge problems in both enterprise and consumer finance. I also see more companies emerging in the wellness space, around things like booking fitness classes, nutrition and personal improvement.
8. The mobile app you can’t live without?
Email on my phone. It may not be fancy but it is necessary.
Interested in a career like Regina’s? Silicon Valley Bank’s New York office is currently hiring a Relationship Advisor! You can view the job description and submit an application here.
This post is by Kirsten Murray, a freelance writer with a background in finance and gender studies who has written for AppNexus and the Levo League, among others. Kirsten traded in her city slicker status for life on an Indiana farm – you can follow her rural mishaps and adventures at dupontdiaries.com. You can also find her on Twitter @KirstenNMurray.