Welcome to our new Meet the Team series where we will feature a member from our Team each week to give you a behind the scenes look at the people that make it all happen at NGP Capital.
Feature of the week
Atte Honkasalo – Head of Data & Analytics
Atte is the brain behind our data platform Q. His passion is to use data to uncover hidden patterns and to create value that cannot be delivered otherwise. It's truly uncanny to see what Atte can do given just a few data points. Do you know what an i386 is? I didn't until Atte mentioned it.
When not at work, Atte loves to spend time outside with his two daughters. Dig in below to find out more about what drew him to tech and his thoughts on diversity.
What was your first job in the tech or VC world?
My first tech job was as a data engineer for a telecom BSS provider Qvantel. I actually worked at Qvantel for more than 5 years, shuffling through multiple data related positions and seeing how a product company with a strong data angle can work.
What first got you excited about the tech industry?
I think for me tech has always been there! I recall we bought our first i386 when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old in the early 90s, and doing programming with QuickBASIC in the afternoons when back home from primary school. The other big revelation was going online in the early 90s – there was something great in the more community-driven world of BBSes back in the day. But for me it’s always been more about exploring the possibilities than some singular things.
If you got $1B of funding for your own start-up, what kind of company would you start from scratch today?
Maybe the reason I’ve ended up on the investor side is that I don’t have a plan for spending all that funding!
What do you like to do in your free time that does not involve a screen?
Having two girls aged 5 and 7, I enjoy hobbies that take me away from home for a moment: going for a run, playing golf, downhill skiing. I compensate that by standing hours and hours in a never-ending rain at the side of the football (soccer for the American audience!) field, watching my daughters play.
Diversity and Inclusion is hot topic now. What improvements do you think the industry could make overall?
I think a lot with regards to DEI in VC investing can be driven by data – we just need to be careful not to re-create our unconscious bias in our algorithms. The more objective we are in evaluating our opportunities and discovering underserved market segments, the better investors we can be, while simultaneously leveling the playing field.