Balancing the Grind with An Vo, Partner at TEN13

An Vo is a Partner at TEN13, a syndicated investment platform that offers Sophisticated Investors access to early-stage technology startups alongside world-class VCs.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’m currently a Partner at TEN13, a syndicated investment platform focussed on investing in early stage technology companies, globally.

I fell into the world of venture capital after having practised law for a number of years and co-founding a startup. I then joined the family office of Steve Baxter, where we focussed on early stage technology investments before launching TEN13 just over 3 years ago.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

There’s no real typical workday at TEN13 – I just came back from a 2 week trip to San Francisco for an event we ran for some of our investors called Jetstream and capped off the trip with an investor conference called the Montgomery Summit in Los Angeles.

When I’m not travelling I try to start my day with some quiet time in the morning with my family and journaling my must do items for the day before diving into work emails.

Most work days usually involve checking in and collaborating with our team across Australia, my portfolio companies, a handful of our investors and meeting new founders.

Many of our investments are powered by the network so I still do my fair share of events, especially as borders are starting to reopen. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

For our QLD team, we’re in the office on Monday and Wednesday but otherwise work remotely. A hybrid model makes sense for us as our 500+ investors are sprinkled across Australia and New Zealand and our 30+ portfolio companies are sprinkled across North America, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and Australia.

A hybrid model was something we were forced to adopt throughout COVID-19 though, like many, we’ve grown to become big believers in the hybrid office. In fact, we’ve even invested in companies based on this thesis!

I personally find the change of scenery that a hybrid approach affords really sparks my creative juices and helps ensure I’m out and about, speaking to experts, thought leaders and company builders who are on the front lines, shaping the future.

Personally, it also ensures that I have enough bandwidth and latitude to work on other local community causes close to my heart outside of work.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

It would be bold for anyone to claim they’ve achieved work-life balance as it looks different for everyone, and changes over time.

I’m still very much in the ‘build’ phase of my life and career which means I’m hyper focussed on making TEN13 a global success – that being said a friend once reminded me that life is a constant juggling act between work, family, friends and self-care. Work is a rubber ball, if you drop it, with enough care it will bounce back, but the other balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be forever damaged, nicked or may even shatter. I try to remind myself of this nugget of wisdom. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Over the past 12 months I’ve started to run outdoors much more frequently. I find running is a great way to clear my head and catch up on my backlog of podcasts. It also helps ensure I maintain a healthy weight range. Apps like Strava help keep me engaged and motivated with a community of friends around the world.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

My current list of go to podcasts includes Business Breakdowns, Capital Allocators, Invest Like The Best and The Business of Family. I’d highly recommend these podcasts for anyone interested in the art of building a business.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I don’t leave the house without my Apple Watch. I’m a stickler for counting my daily steps!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be? 

I would be fascinated to hear how our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is approaching the topic of work-life balance, though I suspect I know the answer…

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

My wife tells me I’m great at compartmentalising my life. When I’m spending time with her and our friends and family, or anyone for that matter, I do my best to give them my undivided attention.

My wife and I have also gotten into the practice of no screen time an hour before bed – whilst difficult at first, we’ve both found this has done wonders for our sleep!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.