Name: Justine & Olivia Moore
Job Title: Venture Investors
Education: Stanford, B.A. Economics (2016)
Years at CRV: 2.5
Previous Jobs: Analysts at Goldman Sachs
On a daily basis, what does partnership with Gur look like? What are the top lessons you’ve learned from him so far?
We feel really lucky that we get to work with Saar. Our early stage consumer team is just the three of us, so we do a lot together. We’ve learned so much through just sitting in meetings with him and hearing how he asks questions and talks to founders.
One of the most important things we’ve learned from Saar is how to identify the “glimmer of greatness” that you can sometimes see in exceptional companies early on. This might be something about the founder’s unique insight on the market, signs of early customer evangelism, or even a specific feature that users can’t live without.
Many VCs say they “just stumbled into venture.” You both say that you always wanted to be in VC. Where did this inspiration come from?
Our mom was a VC in Chicago when we were younger, so we knew a bit about the job growing up. But we didn’t have any business or entrepreneurship classes at our high school in Oregon, so we actually came into Stanford thinking we pursue journalism. We pretty quickly got sucked into tech and VC through covering startups for The Stanford Daily. We ended up majoring in Economics, joining a club that did projects for venture firms, and founding a startup incubator for students.
We thought VC might be a good fit because we are both very analytical and have always been really curious—we ask lots of questions and love doing research on things we don’t know. We’re also early adopters of a lot of consumer products, and always liked to debate about which ones would be big hits (and why).
Tell me a bit more about Cardinal Ventures—what was the vision, how did it play out, and how did it help get you where you are today?
Cardinal Ventures is a startup incubator we founded at Stanford. We wanted to help students who had an idea, a team, and sometimes an early product figure out if they wanted to work on their company full-time. It started as a 10-week program where student teams would learn from speakers and mentors who were VCs, entrepreneurs, and operators, with a pitch day at the end. The structure is largely the same today, but on a bigger scale — more than 100 student companies have graduated from it.
Founding and working on Cardinal Ventures was hugely helpful to us in getting into VC. We were able to meet a lot of awesome investors in the context of the program—this is how we originally met the team at CRV. While running the program, we also got to interact with hundreds of student founders, and worked pretty closely with a few dozen of the companies that went through the program while we were the directors. This helped us start to develop a framework around evaluating early stage startups.