Tammy Han


My article in the First Round Review may have said it best: I do spend nearly every waking hour — including those I really should be sleeping — working with our startup founders looking to hire and candidates looking to get hired. Generally speaking, my role is to play matchmaker between great talent and the right companies, in a market that rarely cools off. What I love most about what I do is also what makes it challenging: rarely are these matches straightforward and just about a signed offer letter. It’s about helping a talented job seeker actually further her career by securing an unlisted opportunity, or changing the capacity of one of our community companies by helping bring aboard a key member — without an exorbitant recruiting fee attached. Given the size of the companies we support, any addition to headcount has a significant impact on the product, culture and team that’s built. I’m fortunate to work with companies in their most formative period and help founders get to a stage where they can grow their team without me.

I have a pretty sweet gig — what continues to excite me about First Round is the humble, talented and hardworking people I get to work with every day. Most importantly, I respect how they embody First Round. I love that we’re not “just a venture firm.” Aside from funds, we support our companies in many ways, from shaping their early recruiting strategies to connecting our founders to domain experts and providing access to knowledge-sharing initiatives — all to help them build their companies. Candidates that I’ve worked with have become experts in our network, First Round Review subjects and future founders of our companies. I’ve learned that each person is not just a candidate for a job, but also a bigger role in our community.  Day in and day out, I’m inspired by how all the pieces fit together to collectively support early-stage founders that want to build world-class products.

Before joining First Round, I led MemSQL’s recruiting efforts, and worked at Riviera Partners to build technical teams for Pinterest, MoPub, Karma Science and many others startups in their earliest days. In many ways, I’ve been able to support a variety of startups because I’ve personally worked in a range of industries. I’ve previously held positions in legal, biotech, retail and hospitality — and was even named Concierge of the Year during my time at the Four Seasons Resort, Aviara. The one central theme across all of my experiences? Delighting people.

I earned a double degree in political science and cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego, where I also minored in Spanish while living abroad in Madrid, Spain. I love languages and am fluent in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese. When I’m not working to help our startups win, I’m on a yoga mat, preferably abroad and by the ocean — but with my smartphone within reach.