Julian Cheng is the Managing Partner at Gen 1 Capital investing in early stage technology founders and startups. He has managed several financial and institutional VC funds totaling $175M of committed capital in 70+ startups in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, health tech, robotics, computer vision, space, autonomous vehicles, genomic sequencing, fintech, and others. Several investments from his funds have generated tremendous business, social, technology, and investor value with several startups becoming acquired or IPOing including several $300M+ acquisitions and an IPO at $2.5B+ market cap.
Julian is passionate about supporting and mentoring founders to build world-changing businesses, making an economic impact on the community, and building character and culture while producing outsized returns. Before becoming a venture capital investor, Julian managed and developed software and hardware for enterprises and co-founded two start-ups in the Internet of Things and education spaces. After working at large tech companies and start-ups in SF, LA, Austin, and NY, he returned to IL to help invest in and cultivate the local technical and entrepreneurial ecosystem in hopes to transform the community.
Julian has a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studied engineering management at Stanford and Northwestern Universities where he obtained his Masters in Engineering Management, and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.