Focussing mostly on early stage startups based in Southeast Asia and Japan, East Ventures has made quite a number of investments, especially in Indonesia. The natural move for the company is to establish new Partner, for the first time, this person will be a female, Melisa Irene.

Irene, from Indonesia, is said to have joined the company in 2015 and her first role in the firm was an Associate. East Ventures shared that Irene has successfully closed multiple deals for the company.

Within three years time, Irene was made the firm’s Principal before finally promoted as the first female Partner.

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Irene herself shared an unlikely ascendency to the role of Partner: East Ventures was her first full-time job.

“I joined VC because I always wanted to witness and take part in Indonesia’s digital transformation era. With EV, every day is a new learning ground as we always bet on young and mostly ‘first time’ founders to build Indonesia’s tech ecosystem,” said Irene.

“I look forward to supporting our team to execute on EV’s mission in advancing Indonesia’s digital ecosystem. I am hopeful that this could be a benchmark that meritocracy is the ultimate parameter- not gender,” she added.

Willson Cuaca, the Managing Partner of East Ventures said, ”Irene joined EV right after school without investment experience nor digital industry knowledge. Over years, she developed personal traits that applicable thought out every VC tasks given to her and she aligned with our firm core values; integrity, empathy, and velocity. We welcome Melisa Irene as our youngest partner (probably youngest in the region) and looking forward to her impact in our ecosystems.”

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Melisa Irene graduated from Binus International University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Accounting degree and was a multiple national-level debate championship winner.

She is proof that you can start with no experience in the industry and make it to the top.

Image Credit: East Ventures