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FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Paula You, Chief Operating Officer at Gilgamesh Ventures

Updated: May 17


Paula You is the Chief Operating Officer at Gilgamesh Ventures, an early-stage fintech-focused venture capital fund that has been making strategic investments across the Americas since its inception in 2020. To date, Gilgamesh Ventures has invested in 37 companies and is actively deploying capital from its second fund.


Beginning her finance career at Bear Stearns, Paula served as an analyst in the Prime Services group, where she managed relationships with hedge fund clients. This role led to a unique opportunity with York Capital Management, a client who recruited her to support the launch of their Asia-focused fund in Hong Kong. Paula embraced the challenge, relocating to Hong Kong and spent two years setting up the fund before returning to the U.S.


Upon returning to the U.S., Paula furthered her expertise by pursuing an MBA at Wharton, and then joined Lazard as an associate, where she spent four years. Later, she moved to Sparks, an experiential company, where she led corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, and managed post-acquisition integrations for seven years.


Looking for a new challenge, Paula teamed up with longtime friends Andrew Endicott and Miguel Armaza at Gilgamesh Ventures as they were launching their Fund II. At Gilgamesh Ventures, she helps drive their mission to invest in outstanding entrepreneurs who are building products and services to transform financial services and enhance the fintech ecosystem. The team, composed of close friends, upholds a culture of transparency, honesty, and tight-knit relationships, reflecting their strong personal and professional bonds. Together, they are committed to investing in the best founders and fostering their growth alongside them.



More on Paula

Where you currently live: NYC

Living arrangement: Live with my husband, son, and dog

Hometown: Suburbs of Philadelphia

Favorite hobby: Barry’s and jigsaw puzzles

Favorite show to binge: The Rookie, Modern Family

Favorite fintech media (blog, podcast, newsletter etc) that inspires you, in your career/life/etc and share 1-2 Sentences on why it inspires you:  I am biased but my partner, Miguel Armaza is the host of Fintech Leaders and he is always interviewing the top names in fintech.


How do you challenge yourself in your role?  How do you differentiate yourself at your role (so that other FinTech women can reference to model their career pathways)?    

I am relatively new to venture capital so I always try to learn from my partners and other industry veterans that I can connect with. Whether they are fellow investors, entrepreneurs, or senior leadership at large fintechs, there is always something to learn from people who have been in this space longer than you. I try to keep myself involved in professional networks (both formal and informal) but do so in a selective way where I can be more intentional about the relationships I’m building.

 

What is one piece of advice someone told you that resonated with you that can give to other women in FinTech?    

Believe in yourself. I think it all starts with believing you can achieve something; otherwise how can you expect anyone else to. I truly believe in positive energy and people that have confidence in themselves and exude positivity are those that people want to be around. It’s ok to have a bad day and feel defeated, but the key is to get back up and know you have it in you to succeed.  

 

What's the best job decision you ever made?

The best decision I made professionally was to relocate to Hong Kong. I was in my mid-twenties, had never been to Hong Kong and had no return date. It was an amazing experience not only to work at a hedge fund, but to work in a different culture and meet people who I would have otherwise never met (many of whom I am still friends with today).


Do you have any productivity hacks?  What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance?

By nature I lean more towards Type A, so I am quite organized with my ‘To Do Lists’ and what needs to get done when. I stay motivated knowing that there is still so much more out there to learn and never let my curiosity about things dwindle. I make sure I read on a breadth of subjects (not just VC or finance), because you can draw a lot of lessons from places you least expect. I have a 4 year old, so I make sure evenings are always blocked off and spent with him, and weekends for the most part is all family time. I’m grateful to have that balance and I think that allows me to start each day energized and ready to work.


Daily Diary

7:00 am: Son crawls into bed and wakes me up

8:15 am: Take son to school

8:30 am - 11:00 am: Work

11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Barry’s

12:00 pm - 4:45 pm: Work

5:00 pm: Pick up son from school

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Eat dinner and spend family time together

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Finish up work and prep for the next day

10:00 pm - 11:00 pm: Watch TV

11:00 pm: Read and go to bed



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