Ian Park

I’m a fan of innovation that affects our daily lives. It's thrilling how an innovative consumer brand can change your life a little.

Raised in a culture that values innovation, quantifiable results and hard work, Ian was born to thrive in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Love of Innovation

The culture of innovation, efficiency and work ethic is part of my DNA. Whatever ecosystem I have found myself in as I grew up, I worked like crazy searching to innovate.

Get It Done

My grandfather was a navy captain. His mantra was, “actions speak louder than words.” I’m biased towards action because of that. It’s at the root of my “get it done” attitude.

I knew I could help the team make even more data-driven decisions and to be as innovative as our partners are in their fields, but within the VC industry.

Read Full Interview

Full Interview:

Is there anything about where you grew up that defines who you are today?

I actually grew up in Korea. The culture of innovation, efficiency and work ethic is part of my DNA. Whatever ecosystem I have found myself in as I grew up, I worked like crazy searching to innovate.

What other lessons stuck with you from your early years?

My grandfather was a navy captain. His mantra was, “actions speak louder than words.” I’m biased towards action because of that. It’s at the root of my “get it done” attitude.

Do you think your friends could see these traits outside of work?

Yeah, you should see me on the golf course. I’m kind of obsessed with my KPI’s—ball speed, spin rate, launch angle--

Right, we get the picture.

… oh and smash factor!

Ah… the smash factor. So you go to college and what do you focus on?

I studied economics and mathematics. I loved the idea of solving world problems using econometrics and data. And math is the language used to communicate science.

And all this leads you first to McKinsey & Co.

I helped large corporations breaking into new areas through acquisition. Lots of long nights.

Ah yes, the work ethic.

Oh yes. That’s where I started to use machine learning to understand the competitive landscape and target. I found I always added value using a rigorous data-driven approach. Eventually I developed my own methodology and processes.

What drew you to VMG?

I saw from their website they weren’t about titles or hierarchy. They were all about people. They seemed so open-minded and innovative and entrepreneurial. And they are!

And what about the Catalyst team in particular?

I knew I could help the team make even more data-driven decisions and to be as innovative as our partners are in their fields, but within the VC industry.

You work with consumer product companies. Is that more interesting to you than, say, finance or pure tech companies?

I’m a fan of innovation that affects our daily lives. It’s kind of thrilling to feel how an innovative consumer brand can change your life a little. I’m an early adapter of protein bars, Kombucha—I want everyone to experience that thrill in their lives. If I can use my analytical skillset to help a brand grow and spread their innovation? That’s the dream.

Sort of the ideal “smash factor”?

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Read Full Interview