Periodically, we feature a member from our Team to provide a behind the scenes look at the people that make it all happen at the firm.
Featured This Month:
Kendall Barden – Fund Accountant
What is your focus at Sierra Ventures?
I am Sierra’s Fund Accountant. I provide administrative support with analysis of quarterly portfolio reporting and valuations for the firm’s investments. I also assist the Operations Team with investor relations and the Finance Team with accounts payable.
How did you get into Venture Capital?
I was previously in an administrative role at Apple Retail where I found that I was passionate about the field of administration. I came across the Front Office Coordinator opportunity at Sierra Ventures and was excited to grow my skills in the space and develop new ones in a different industry. After supporting on accounting needs I learned I enjoyed the finance side of the business and was promoted to Fund Accountant in 2022.
What Accounting tools do you recommend?
- Finding a good CRM – CRM tools are great for keeping everything notated and recorded. If we ever need to look over historical records or roll out correspondence to a group, having all of that information in one place helps streamline the workflow process.
- iPreo – Having our reporting tools all in one suite makes our financial reporting procedure more organized. From updating portfolio company contacts to gathering quarterly reporting information; having access to all of this in one database allows our team to work more efficiently.
- Box – This is a helpful tool for keeping all internal files organized. Having one place to direct others to for specific documents saves a lot of time and emails as people can collaborate on projects together up to their final product.
What Admin/Office tools do you recommend for startups?
- Food Delivery Services – It’s important to keep your team well-fed – no one benefits from a hangry co-worker! I use Forkable and DoorDash for lunch orders and it’s great because people can pick what they want to eat. I also use Instacart to stock snacks and beverages in the office.
- Box – this is a helpful tool for keeping all training documents and files organized. Having one place to direct people to for general office-keeping documents saves a lot of time and emails as people can access what they need directly.
- Google Calendar – keeping track of everyone’s schedule in the office is important and I like to use Google Calendar to see when people are available, when meetings are happening, and when they are ending. This helps with assisting with the availability of conference rooms or other bookable rooms in the office and is also helpful for knowing when to clean up between meetings.
What are the top three pieces of advice you have for startups?
- Develop a strong rapport with your team. A trusting relationship in a working environment empowers and motivates everyone involved.
- Cultivate empathy. A strong sense of empathy helps teams better understand how to approach challenges and align with client needs.
- Create a culture around feedback. This point along with the previous two helps create an environment where constructive criticism leads to positive results.
If you had to recommend one book to an entrepreneur what would it be?
FYI: For Your Improvement, A Guide to Development and Coaching by Michael Lombardo. It contains 67 competencies utilized for professional and personal development. It’s a great book to come back to and I like to pick 1-2 competencies a year to focus on.
What is your best “life-hack”?
Set something aside to look forward to every day. Whether it’s a fun activity or a relaxing experience, it will help keep your life balanced. It will also provide you with great conversation topics!
Anything else you want to share?
I’m a big Disney fan! So much so that I would go to their parks several times a year before the pandemic. Getting lost in the magic of watching a nighttime parade or eating ice cream with Peter Pan are some things that I’ll never get tired of!