Growing the Team – Paul Willard

We are happy to announce that Paul has decided to join the team at Storm as partner. We started working together in early 2017 and we both had the opportunity to see how each other works and thinks. Beyond Paul, we have been growing the Storm team including Pascale Diaine who joined the investment team last spring from Orange where she was the lead manager for Orange Fab incubator for more than 10 years.

Since the beginning of Storm, we have been following a strategy focused on helping to build enterprise leaders. We have tried hard to be the partner for entrepreneurs for the entire startup journey and find ways to support them. We have learned a lot along the way, made a lot of mistakes and found a lot of success including generating returns for our investors. One of our lessons has been that our success as an investment team depends a lot on our shared values – in terms of how we think about helping our companies find success and how we approach working with entrepreneurs. While seemingly obvious, it can be difficult to balance both diversity of thought and alignment of values.

This alignment is foundational to why we believe Paul is not only going to continue to make for an impressive investor but also a great team member. After working at 4 fast growing startups over 14 years including Atlassian, Paul found his motivation by forming lifelong relationships with the amazing people he worked with along the way. Like Storm, Paul found success and passion in working with enterprise focused teams and opportunities.

After his last executive role, Paul co-founded Subtraction Capital making the transition to a venture investor in order to be able to work with more enterprise entrepreneurs and share much of what he has learned over his years as an operator. After his first fund, Paul realized he wanted to be a part of larger team focused similarly on early-stage enterprise opportunities.

Having worked together for much of the past year, it is clear we both value diverse backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives. Like the team at Storm, he shares the view that the contributions of a collaborative team far exceed a collection of individuals operating on their own. This is fundamental to our success at Storm. We often have different perspectives but the diversity of backgrounds and thought contribute to better investment decisions.

Paul is a rare engineer that has written real code, become a CMO and gone on to form his own venture firm. He has a broad set of experiences and an early track record of success that would put him at the top of any entrepreneur’s list of people to work with in building their next blockbuster enterprise opportunity. He tops our list as well. Welcome Paul!

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