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Our team

We are a close-knit team of venture, investments and entrepreneurial scale-up experienced hands who have worked at Bell Lab, McKinsey, Motorola, Philips, and have helped a series of younger and older startups that received funding from the likes of Oak Investment Partners and Qiming Ventures and with IPO exits as well as acquisition by companies such as Siemens, Vestas, and BBC. 

Brought together by our founder and Managing Partner, Sylvia Chan, the team shares a mission in helping committed entrepreneurial teams build successful companies. 

Everyone on the team has been a founder himself or herself and / or been part of founding teams and often in companies during their high growth phases in the process of which become part of the creation of new industries.  And every one of our Operating Partners has been successful scale-up CEOs.

Our experience includes helping a company scale from zero to 51% market share, making multiple-time investment returns to investors, and backing an industry early as well as making successful contrarian investment calls. 

Founding partner

Sylvia Chan is founder and Managing Partner of Empower Ventures.  Prior to joining the venture investing industry, Sylvia was an equity analyst and headed up a sector team at Macquarie Bank based in Hong Kong advising large global institutional investment managers on Asian energy and infrastructure and clean technologies and was one of the first to initiate investment research in Asia in this space.

Sylvia also spent 8 years in strategy consulting including at McKinsey & Co, KPMG, and her own consulting firm, leading and managing project teams that helped companies in various stages of their growth and development (including high-growth technology-driven “scale-up” companies).

Sylvia graduated with a “double first” from Trinity College, University of Cambridge where she won a number of prizes and also obtained her PhD; earlier in her career, Sylvia taught at University of London, was visiting Scholar at University of California at Berkeley, and was author of 2 books.  In her spare time, Sylvia loves travelling and hiking, anything that combines science, maths and the arts, and is also a prize-winning musician.

See also, www.cleanandsmartvc.com/about