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The Forecast is Summersalt’s global content hub for all things travel, packing, style, and discovery, packed with informative and inspirational pieces for (and featuring!) women who are going places.

This VC Is on a Journey to Shape the Future

Venture Capitalist Claire Fauquier grew up in Toronto, resides in Brooklyn, and spent six months living in Kenya before going to business school in Philadelphia. While she’s been on her own personal journey, she loves partnering with startup founders on their paths to shape the future. Today, Claire is a principal at Highland Capital, a VC that has invested in innovative companies like Freshly, a natural food delivery service, and ThredUP, an online thrift store. Since Claire has traveled the world for work and fun, we asked her to share her best career and travel advice. Check it out below. 

What inspired you to go into Venture Capital?

At the heart of it, the opportunity to work with some of the smartest people in the world. The ability to be at the forefront of what will change the world in the next couple years and get to see a variety of different technologies come online. In other words, to feed my wandering curiosity. And also, to feed my extreme extroversion!

Tell us about some of the companies you work with!

I am fortunate enough to work with a wide array of founders and companies – everything from D2C eCommerce businesses, to logistics and transportation, to fintech and software. At Highland, we are sector agnostic but look for exceptional, hardworking founders who are building highly scalable tech-enabled businesses. We often look off the beaten path and really value the relationship we build with our founding teams and their companies.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Hands down, celebrating wins and consoling hard times with my founders. I’ve been so lucky to have a front-row seat to some of the biggest moments in a company’s short history, and the people that are running them are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Becoming friends and such close colleagues with founders is the absolute cherry on top!

Image Courtesy of Claire Fauquier

What business advice do you want to share with women?

Be more assertive and confident in yourselves – from your abilities to the massive opportunity that your business creates. We are always our own biggest critic, but we are pretty darn remarkable when we really believe in ourselves. Let that shine!

Image Courtesy of Claire Fauquier

Let’s talk about “going places.” What’s on the horizon for you?

Well, I just joined Highland about a month ago from a seed fund. So that’s been a big step for me, and I’m super excited about the new challenges that a different team and platform will bring.

Tell us about the last adventure you took:

I had three weeks off before starting at Highland! I spent a week skiing at Jackson Hole and a week in Kauai. It was full of adventure, sunshine and great food. I saw a 10-foot Hammerhead shark while diving, which was incredible, and probably the highlight of the whole trip!

Image Courtesy of Unsplash // Harshil Gudka

What is a destination that you’re always telling people, “You have to go there!” 

Kenya! I spent six months living there and I’ll always have a life-long love affair with the country. The people are incredible, the natural beauty is unparalleled and it’s a unique place. There’s something for everyone: great beaches, safaris, hikes, jungles. Very highly recommend it!

What do you never travel without?

Headphones! I’m a music addict, and planes are a great way to zone out. I usually have a couple pairs, including big over-ear headphones.

What’s your favorite Summersalt travel piece?

I love my Summersalt bikini. It looks cute and it stays put. However, I just spotted all of Summersalt’s great scarves and I think I’ll need that next!

Got any great advice for solo travelers?

Bring books! Reading at a bar or restaurant at night is a great way to spend some time and to avoid just spending time on a phone.

Got any go-to podcasts, albums, or books for passing time on a plane?

Here’s an unconventional one: I have sleep sounds (typically night rains) downloaded on my Spotify. It’s great for trying to sleep on a plane when there’s usually noise in the cabin.

Share your most valuable travel hack:

I now mostly travel with a good oversized canvas tote or duffle bag since I’m on a plane so much and I hate having to gate-check in case the overhead bins are full. They fit just as much stuff,  but can always be shoved somewhere.