It takes more than a compelling product to build a great company.
Maia Heymann and Nilanjana Bhowmik have been analyzing the art and science of building great companies for a combined 30 years. Both venture capital veterans, Heymann and Bhowmik founded Converge in 2017, thus starting their own entrepreneurial journeys. In 2018, the firm made its first investment.
Based out of CIC Cambridge, Converge specializes in early stage investments, from seed to Series B funding, for business-to-business (B2B) tech companies whose software-driven products enable meaningful business and industrial automation. It’s a natural fit for Heymann and Bhowmik, who have cumulatively managed $510M in venture investments in enterprise tech and whose companies have raised over $2B in equity capital.
“This is a very exciting time for entrepreneurship in the Northeast, particularly in Boston, for B2B tech,” says Bhowmik.
The Converge team’s approach to venture investing is as key to the firm as their industry expertise. Heymann and Bhowmik are clear about their role as facilitators and supporters of entrepreneurs’ accomplishments, not the other way around.
“You have to celebrate all the wins,” says Bhowmik. “Building a company is like running a marathon. That’s how we think about our own firm and the culture we’re building. For our companies, our focus is on the people and the process of building great, high-impact products.”
People are often quick to note that Converge is founded by women; according to TechCrunch, women made up only eight percent of investing partners at top VC firms in 2017. But to Heymann, gender is an afterthought to their professional experience. “We invest in bold and ambitious B2B entrepreneurs—men and women,” she says. “By virtue of who we are, there’s a derivative impact on the venture industry and the companies we work with.”
Bhowmik sums it up: “Our involvement with our companies helps them build great companies in a very future-forward way. At the end of the day, it’s all about competing and winning.”
This profile originally appeared in CONNECT 2018: CIC + Partners Global Impact Report.