Spero Ventures

Stephen Wemple

Investor

I want to work with companies that make the world healthier, people more optimistic and society more productive.

There are a lot of important problems technology can help solve, but I’m most interested in technologies that can help facilitate authentic, meaningful human connections. This could have social, wellness and professional applications. I’m researching social meetup 2.0 startups, mental health and addiction solutions and other ideas that help build community.

The idea of using technology to bring people together has the potential to reshape education and the future of work, both of which are becoming more decentralized and/or virtual, which can make it harder to feel connected to classmates or colleagues. I would love to work with founders who are creating new environments where people can learn and work together and get excited when I see startups that understand and conjure new places where people want to gather — companies like eBay, Lambda School, League of Legends, Reddit and Riot Games.

At the same time, I’m looking forward to a future that is more flexible and designed to serve the needs of individuals. Much of what we see, buy and experience today is made for the masses in a one-size-fits-all way. Using technology to offer customized experiences and personalized solutions at scale could be a game-changer for a number of industries, including healthcare and education.

  • Tell us about a life-altering experience in your life:

    When I was in college, I volunteered at a community center teaching Vietnamese immigrants how to speak English. In return, they taught me about about their culture. I wanted to experience all of it for myself and I went to Vietnam on a Fulbright scholarship. I worked at a high school in a rural province three hours outside of Ho Chi Minh City. We built a small community to help people start new businesses and I learned something really important: the idea that entrepreneurship is the largest lever that we can use to create and sustain positive change.

  • What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Spero?

    I’ve always admired back-up point guards. They bring bring people together while focusing on doing what they need to do. I appreciate their behind-the-scenes, team-first mindset.

  • What is the hardest part about your job?

    To be a good investor your job is to have original perspectives and formulate your own, well-thought-out opinion. We all think we come up with our own ideas, but the reality is, we are constantly being shaped and reshaped by society. It’s important to challenge yourself to think for yourself.

  • Share something about yourself that might surprise people:

    I signed up for an app called WeCroak, which sends me five pings a day reminding me that I will die. It’s not as morbid as it sounds. It encourages me to be truly present and pushes me to try to make the most of every day.

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