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Grace Gong is an author and host of The Smart Venture Podcast, which features top investors, founders, and tech company executives from Silicon Valley.  Her first book, The Last Key To Success, features 21 founders who were among the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 and digs into how to start a company. Meanwhile, Grace’s most recent book, How To Be A VC, showcases interviews with 22 investors from the Forbes Midas List. Grace graduated in 2013 from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in communications and sociology.


  • Why Grace started The Smart Venture Podcast in June 2020 (4:20) 
  • What Grace learned from interviewing the former CEO of Chipotle (5:39)
  • How Grace secures and interviews guests like the Chief Product Officer at Weight Watchers, a VP at Google, a VP at Lyft and many others (12:45)
  • Why Grace believes it’s important to network with the people in your life or those closer to your age before cold calling a CEO (17:51)
  • How to cultivate your professional network (21:28)
  • How Grace contacted Forbes 30 Under 30 founders for her book (24:45)
  • How Grace turned rejection into opportunity (33:24)


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