By Anthony Ha
I’m excited to announce the newest addition to the Eniac Ventures team: Leelena Asfaw, who’s joining us as an investment analyst for the summer.
Leelena grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia before moving to Mississippi to attend The Piney Woods School. Apparently, after helping a friend apply to the boarding school, she thought, “Why can’t I do that?” — and not only was she accepted, but she also graduated as valedictorian and won a full scholarship to Jackson State University.
Leelena tells me that she’s wanted to be a startup founder since she was 17. So after earning a B.S. in computer engineering, she moved to Atlanta to start an intercity ride-sharing service called Kruz, and to participate in in the Ascend Atlanta program for minority entrepreneurs.
After Kruz met the fate of most startups, Leelena was a venture capital fellow at HBCUvc, a summer analyst at JMI Equity, and both a venture capital fellow and a student investment analyst at the Black Venture Capital Consortium. She will also be receiving her M.S. in technology management from Columbia University in August.
At Eniac, Leelena’s primary duties will involve helping the investment team analyze new deals, but she’s already been enlisted for some other big projects, and I’m hoping to get her involved on the content side as well.
Outside of work, Leelena enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family. As for her plans after Eniac, her ultimate goal is to found another startup, but she hopes to stick around in VC until she finds the right idea.