Skip to main content

Erik Blachford

Venture Capital Investor
Erik Blachford | Investisseur en capital-risque
Erik Blachford | Investisseur en capital-risque
Sector
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

Erik Blachford is a venture capital investor in California, USA.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I now live in: San Francisco, California, USA

I completed my training/education at: Princeton University (English); Columbia Business School (MBA)

What I do at work

I invest in new companies and serve as a board member and advisor as they grow.

During my typical day I will review proposals from a number of companies looking for investment. Usually these are online or mobile app companies, and usually they are providing some kind of service meant to be used by regular consumers. Good examples might be online travel companies or stock brokerage services or photo sharing apps.

I go through materials on paper or in presentations, and meet with the teams or founders that seem most likely to build great businesses. Sometimes those meetings include other potential investors, sometimes it's just me.

My STEM background helps me evaluate not only the numbers in business plans, but also the basic underpinnings of the businesses themselves - math is particularly useful when talking to founders about how many users they expect to find, how big their markets are, how much of their market they can expect to win for their own companies, and so on.

If there's one skill I wish I had a bit more of it would be computer programming, as there are many occasions when some basic SQL query skills would come in handy while evaluating data, and HTML or CSS would be helpful in building online presences.

My career path is

I had a traditional STEM background in high school, then went into Engineering at Princeton. I did the first two years, then switched to English and Theater as my arts/creative side won out for a while. Then it was back to business school after a couple of years in adventure travel, guiding cycling trips, and finally out to my first traditional job, at Microsoft in Seattle, working on a new set of travel products. That led to working at Expedia, first as the head of marketing and eventually as the CEO, and then to a number of other leadership jobs that led me to the investment world.

I am motivated by

The best part about this job is being around very creative and innovative people all day long. They are inventing the future, and I get to help them achieve their dreams.

I'd say this career works well for me in large part because I get to work on lots of different ideas at the same time, something which has always been very appealing to me.

How I affect people’s lives

When the companies I help do well, they provide jobs for all their employees, and a service that works for their customers. Everybody wins, and that feels great.

Outside of work I

Outside of work I write plays and short stories, ski and bike and trail run, and support my kids in their athletic endeavours.

My advice to others

If you enjoy doing more than one kind of thing (e.g. physics and theatre), find a way to do them both.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Literature and Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Played on a sports team
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Learned best by doing

Explore Career Profiles

  • Ryan Mitchell headshot

    Ryan Mitchell

    Hatchery Supervisor

    My job is to supervise the daily workflow at our salmon hatchery.
  • Steve Lawrence headshot with trees in the background

    Steve Lawrence

    Sales Manager

    As sales manager for Eos Positioning in Canada, I work with the Sales Reps, Marketing and Production.
  • Nathan Kostiuk headshot

    Nathan Kostiuk

    Western Regional Coordinator

    Nathan coordinates the work of the Let’s Talk Science volunteer sites from Manitoba to British Columbia.
  • Moustafa Eldeeb onsite at Seaspan Shipyard’s North Vancouver, BC facility.

    Mustafa Eldeeb

    Project Manager, Navy Programs

    I am responsible for ensuring the various project teams are performing well and following to the approved budget and schedule set for each project.
  • Justin Kole tenant un caniche dans ses bras.

    Justin M. R. Kole

    Operations Advisor

    I track and organize upcoming customer deliveries and provide customer education on the technology in Tesla automobiles.
  • Viviana Ramirez-Luna dehors en hiver

    Viviana Ramirez-Luna (she/her)

    Environmental Entrepreneur

    I founded (and run) a consulting company to help businesses, communities, and organizations reduce the waste they produce
  • Ilias Hader

    Ilias Hader (he/him)

    Artificial Intelligence Consultant & Team Leader

    I help companies take advantage of AI technologies and I manage a team to build an automated food production system for long space missions. 
  • Steve Fletcher

    Steve Fletcher

    Managing Director

    I am the Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.
  • Amanda McCallum

    Amanda McCallum

    Geologist, Communication Specialist, Business Owner

    I'm a prospecting geologist, a science communication specialist and business owner.
  • Bryan Rolph

    Bryan Rolph

    Sales Manager

    I lead a team of technical sales professionals that help deliver on the best technology solutions for our customers.
  • Dawn Pratt avec ses filles au Centre spatial de Houston

    Dawn Pratt

    STEM Consultant

    I develop programs and STEM content and advise on the development of STEM programs.
  • Ashley Noseworthy avec l'océan derrière elle

    Ashley Noseworthy

    CEO/Founder of Edgewise Environmental

    I own and operate an environmental consultancy that helps companies reduce their underwater noise pollution.
  • Edwin Makkinga

    Edwin Makkinga

    Manager, Climate Policy

    In my job I consider the risks and opportunities from climate-related public policy and how Enbridge can be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
  • Steven Ryan derrière un bureau debout avec son ordinateur portable

    Steven Ryan

    Creative Director

    Steven Ryan is a creative director with a design and marketing communications firm.
  • Vivek Chauhan

    Vivek Chauhan

    Program Advisor, Renewable Generation

    Vivek is an electrical engineer who works for Ontario Power Generation.
  • Patty Simpson

    Patty Simpson (she/her)

    Environmental Coordinator

    As the head of the Environment Department at a uranium mine, it is my responsibility to make sure that the mine does not pollute the surrounding environment.
  • Luc Houle à la maison

    Luc Houle (he/him)

    Founder of Johnny Footwear

    I create, manufacture and market biodegradable sneakers that grow into trees.
  • Wendy Keyzer au travail

    Wendy Keyzer

    Manager, Strategy and Business Development Operations

    I support activities like proposal development and strategic projects to expand our innovation efforts at Seaspan Shipyards.
  • Sukhleen Chahal

    Sukhleen Chahal

    Proposal Specialist

    I write contract change proposals for work to be done that was not part of the original work plan.
  • Michelle Franze dans un petit avion.

    Michelle Franze (she/her)

    Manager of Communications, Partnerships and Community Relations

    I provide internal and external communications for the BC Salmon Farmers Association.