40 Minute Mentor

January 31, 2024

Hannah Leach: An unconventional route into VC & driving ESG across portfolios

This week’s 40 Minute Mentor is the brilliant Hannah Leach, Partner at Houghton Street Ventures and Co-Founder of VentureESG.

Hannah moved into the venture space after a squiggly career in and around the venture and entrepreneurship ecosystems, including building accelerator programs, teams within Scaleups and starting her own company or two…

In this episode we explore Hannah’s route into VC, the partnership between Houghton Street Ventures and the London School of Economics, why VC funding isn’t always the best route to scaling a business, and how VentureESG is supporting the ecosystem with meaningful ESG integration.

Hannah Leach
“The whole industry is full of very successful people who have had this very standard path. It’s hard to look at your own [different] background and put yourself on an even level with them.” 

Hannah Leach

Tune in to discover

Redefining the ‘traditional’ path into VC [04:47]
Her squiggly route into VC [06:52]
A love for building communities [09:34]
Biggest lessons from Founder life [12:19]
The power of vulnerability and authenticity [13:47]
The challenges of transitioning into VC [17:54]
Understanding where you are adding value [19:52]
Advice for pivoting into VC [21:00]
Life at Houghton Street Ventures [23:10]
The do’s and don’t of VC pitching [26:50]
The power of a unique thesis [29:43]
Raising a first-time fund [30:55]
The drive behind building VentureESG [33:40]
Collaboration over competition [36:40]
The future of ESG  [38:04]

Listen on

Helpful links

➡️ Connect with Hannah: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannahleach/ 
➡️ Find out more about Houghton Street Ventures: https://houghtonstreet.com/
➡️ Discover VentureESG: https://www.ventureesg.com/

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