Welcome to our weekly 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
Monica Johnson – Partner and CFO
Monica leads our Finance Team at NGP Capital, working closely with Mike Sova and Paige Brown. As our CFO, she carefully vets every new investment and exit, and all fund activity in the US, Europe, and China - definitely not an easy task. She's a very analytical person, but did you know she's also an avid runner and hiker? Need a restaurant recommendation in Palo Alto, San Francisco or even Carmel? She's sure to have an idea, as she's also a big foodie. And you might even run into her at Bottle Rock. Dig in for more on Monica below.
What was your first job in the tech or VC world?
My first finance job, right after graduating business school, was with Hewlett Packard. I worked in the software, hardware, and services divisions, so I got to see a lot of different aspects. My first VC job is my current role at NGP Capital.
What first got you excited about the tech industry?
I got excited about tech in the early 90s. Back then, we saw a tech revolution in consumer products, healthcare and tech. The pace of development really picked up and that peaked my interest.
If you got $1B of funding for your own start-up, what kind of company would you start from scratch today?
Given all the things we just saw and experienced this past year, I really think we should invest more in education technology. I would start a company that would develop an app to combine the best elements of online and in-person learning. We should really be providing more customized education options since one size does not fit all. There should also be universal, quality online access for all, regardless of income level or geographical location. With what we've learned in 2020 we need to keep developing hybrid platforms, with a focus on democratizing education for all.
What do you like to do in your free time that does not involve a screen?
Running is my passion. I meet up with a group of friends for early morning runs twice a week. I also really like hiking and exploring all the different trails in the Bay Area.
Diversity and Inclusion is hot topic now. What improvements do you think the industry could make overall?
D&I has become such an important topic and as a VC, the thing that we can do most effectively now, is to emphasize the importance of this to our portfolio companies. As a firm we can have a lot of impact by setting goals and practices and working with our portfolios on that -- and eventually we need to measure our portfolio companies on those goals. Data shows that this has unfortunately been slow to happen. So there is still a lot of work to do. And I'm optimistic we can make it happen.