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Alex Marshall

Special Projects

Who we are determines what we see and what we build; who we invest in reflects what kind of community and world we want to create. This is something that I saw firsthand growing up in Silicon Valley, in my work with underrepresented founders — and as a founder who identifies as LGBTQ+, female, white and Latina. Because identity shapes the problems we’re attuned to and the solutions we devise, I always focus on “scaling empathy” as a cornerstone of company-building, working with teams to realize their vision of a world that’s emotionally intelligent, socially conscious and more equitable. 

At First Round, I’m focused on special projects that reimagine how we can better foster and support the early founder ecosystem from exploration to investment. I spend most of my day working with folks who are just diving into the company-building process. I also think a lot about how to expand the scope of our resources and initiatives to reach future company-builders, especially those from underrepresented and unconventional backgrounds. 

Prior to First Round, I was Director of Platform at Backstage Capital, where I worked exclusively with underrepresented founders on fundraising, finding product/market fit and restructuring business models. Before that, I co-founded a First Round portfolio company, Health IQ, an insurtech company that rewards people for taking control of their health. I also worked at Goldman Sachs, Farallon Capital and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. I’m a proud Williams College alum.

Outside of work, I help run the @ByWomenVCs and Fintech Today communities, and I volunteer as a family advocate and translator on immigration cases. On weekends, I can be found binge-watching my favorite TV shows like The West Wing, transitioning from Olympic weightlifting to being a runner (it sucks, but my mom claims it gets easier), and bringing my Twitter friendships from URL to IRL.