Wayne Wu

Many other more traditional investors want to prove they’re smarter or more sophisticated than the entrepreneur and exert their control.

Wayne tells us what it was like growing up Chinese in Texas, and, more recently, trading his basketball jersey for a yoga mat.

In it to win it

I was one of the few Asian American kids out there, so I learned to deal with occasional racism by winning! I wasn’t usually the most talented player but I was always the most tenacious.

Chinese or Tex Mex?

Dim sum for lunch and fajitas for dinner. (Shout out to Pappasito’s Cantina!)

Namaste

The young me (and my wife) can’t believe it—but yes, yoga is my new “sport”. I love it and practice almost every day. Even when I’m on the road.

We just focus on how we can help them.

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You’re a child of Chinese immigrants. How has that shaped you?

As an Asian American I lived in two different worlds. I was always trying to bridge the gap between my Chinese family and my Texas roots. I was a naturally social kid and team sports was a great outlet.

So you’re a Texas boy at heart.

I have tons of Texan pride. Rockets basketball most of all, but also Astros baseball and Texans and Longhorns football. I thought 5,000+ folks in the stands for a Friday night football game was normal until I left Texas.

What about food? Texan or Chinese?

Dim Sum for lunch and Fajitas for dinner. (Shout out to Pappasito’s Cantina!)

Sounds like both food and sports help you bridge your two cultures.

I love playing soccer and basketball. I was one of the few Asian American kids out there, so I learned to deal with occasional racism by winning! I wasn’t usually the most talented player but I was always hustling, the hardest working and the most tenacious. Sports taught me how thrive in a team environment. Sadly, I retired my basketball jersey on my 36th birthday.

That’s when you picked up your sticky mat! You’re really into yoga— a good east/west bridge activity!

The young me (and my wife) can’t believe it—but yes, yoga is my new “sport”. I love it and practice almost every day. Even when I’m on the road.

It’s a good way to stay centered with three young kids at home.

I find as a parent you really have to embrace your lack of control. I can’t guarantee their safety, success or happiness. And I can’t make those irrational tantrums make sense. But man, when I come home at night and walk through that door I feel like a rock star! Smiles, hugs, kisses, they’re yelling “daddy!” My wife and kids are everything to me.

How does that translate to your work style?

Control is never the goal there either. It’s about developing deep, personal relationships and supporting the whole CPG ecosystem: our founders, entrepreneurs and brands, (even those we haven’t yet partnered with), brokers, buyers, consultants, recruiters, lawyers— they’re all part of it. Many investors want to prove they’re smarter or more sophisticated than the entrepreneur and exert their control. We just focus on how we can help them. I’m a huge believer in the Karma that comes from doing right by all.

Sounds like you could have been a coach. Or a yoga teacher.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Oh, and namaste!

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