We had the good fortune of connecting with Ilse Calderon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ilse, how do you think about risk?
Hmm this is a broad question; but, I associate risk with context. Risk is always relative and subjective to one’s environment. While I do not think I have the luxury of an infinite, guaranteed safety net, I still think of myself as more of a risk taker than someone that is risk averse. For me, thinking about risk brings up opportunity cost: what am I missing out on by taking this risk? Is timing on my side? Also, as an investor, I often use an investment risk analysis when considering a personal risk, I think, does this risk’s upsides outweigh the downsides? If so, then I probably take it. As I think about my career and where I want to be in the coming years/future, I am definitely open to taking risks if it means getting closer to my long term vision.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I work in venture capital which is still a nascent industry and typically seen as an “old white men” club. Therefore, as a first-generation Latina, I am most excited about changing the traditional “VC” ecosystem and what one thinks about when they hear about venture capital. I want more young girls and women to know that they too can make it in venture with the right mindset. Although we are nowhere near reaching full equality in venture, I think conversations are taking place to move us in the right direction. For example, I work with a couple of organizations (AllRaise, LatinxVC) whose goal is to make the VC environment more diverse and equitable. It is definitely not easy, but very necessarily in order to continue expanding the type of founder that gets venture backed and support.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
hmm within the city, my spots are more limited since I live in The Woodlands, Texas. However, I do love Cantina Barba for those craving tacos. I’m Mexican and love them! Otherwise, I mostly hang around market street. There is a nearby new spot called “Little Woodrows” which is excellent for food and drinks (especially when the weather is nice).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents are the reason I am where I am today. They made incredibly incredible sacrifices in order for my sisters and I to have the opportunities we have had to date.