Tim Chang

Tim Chang

Tim is a proven venture investor and experienced global executive, and was named on the 2011 Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Dealmakers.

Website: www.mayfield.com
San Francisco, California, United States
Accredited investor
Member since June 13, 2008
I'm a Managing Director at Mayfield Fund Quote_down
  • About
Investments made BranchOut, HealthTap, Tagged, Inc., 3D Robotics, Basis, Lyft, Moat, OUYA, Zirtual Inc.
2001 Stanford University , MBA , MBA (Arjay Miller Scholar)

I am a(n):


My favorite startups:

the ones I've funded :)

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Most frustrating: that the thesis and vision the entrepreneur is working towards is usually right -- it's often the timing that's off. Being 1-2 years too early might be survivable if the business isn't too capital intensive; being 1-2 years late can also work if you're a fast-follower or innovative later entrant (Google, Facebook). Any sooner or later is often certain death, unless you can pivot successfully.

Most rewarding: seeing your creation take on a life of its own, especially as you attract a world-class team that really takes ownership of the product/service and evolves it in new ways you never imagined...just like seeing your screenplay come to life in the hands of master directors and actors

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Over-focusing on short-term dilution/valuation and not building a world-class team -- remember folks, the easiest way to get a VC to pay up is to have a killer team in place!

My VC algorithm is actually dirt-simple --I call it the "Three T's":
- killer [T]eam
- organic [T]raction
- [T]ier-1 insider or co-investors

Surprisingly, it's rarely the [T]ech alone that makes a startup successful!

Full bio

Tim is a proven venture investor and experienced global executive. He was named on the 2011 Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Dealmakers, was featured by The Deal as one of five emerging VCs to watch and by the AlwaysON Hollywood IT List recognizing technology leaders in the digital entertainment industry. Tim invests in the mobile, gaming, digital media and enterprise applications sectors and co-leads Mayfield Fund’s investment practice in China.

Some of Tim’s notable investments in the U.S. include ngmoco (acquired by DeNA), Playdom (acquired by Disney), leaders in mobile and social gaming, and Iridigm Display Corporation (acquired by Qualcomm). His other U.S. investments include Badgeville (gamification as a SaaS platform), Basis (mobile health monitoring), BranchOut (career networking on Facebook), and Lumos Labs (brain wellness games). Some of Tim’s notable investments in China include AdChina (leading ad-network), Lashou (leading deals site), and PCH International (leading supply-chain management company). His other China investments include All Reach Media and Brite Semiconductor. Tim was also involved with investments in Placeware (acquired by Microsoft), NextG Networks (acquired by a private equity syndicate), Borqs, deCarta and Socialvibe.

Prior to joining Mayfield Fund, Tim spent five years as a Partner at Norwest Venture Partners. While at Norwest, he invested in the mobile, gaming and digital media sectors and established their investment practice in China and Asia Pacific. Prior to Norwest, Tim worked for Gabriel Venture Partners where he led their wireless and Asia Pacific practice. Tim began his career in venture capital in 1999 during his time at Stanford Business School as part of the founding team of CTR Ventures, a venture accelerator in Tokyo focused on seed and early-stage mobile consumer applications for the Japanese market.

Tim’s operational experience includes working in Japan for five-years as a Product Manager for Gateway Inc., where he launched and held P&L responsibility for enterprise products and as a trilingual Engineer for General Motors, where he led project teams in China, Korea and Japan.

Currently, Tim serves on the advisory boards of the Verizon 4G Venture Forum, Gamestop Corporation, Yoshimoto Kogyo, the Silicon Valley Telecom Council, MIT/Stanford VLAB, CasualConnect, and GamesBeat/MobileBeat.

Tim holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and an MS in Electrical Engineering/System Engineering and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Fun Facts

  • Tim is an accomplished musician and currently performs with BlackMahal and Coverflow.