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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

MV alum makes Forbes 30 under 30

Venture capitalist Megan Ruan makes Forbes 30 under 30 list.
IMAGE VIA Megan Ruan
IMAGE VIA Megan Ruan

Former Mounds View student Megan Ruan was just like any other student at Mounds View, a part of activities such as theater and speech and debate. Yet, her drive to succeed allowed Ruan to accomplish many things in her career, including her recognition in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list: a set of lists of 30 notable people under 30 years old in various industries issued annually by Forbes magazine. Ruan’s journey through venture capital, a form of private equity financing provided by firms or funds to startup, early-stage and emerging companies, is one of commitment to inclusivity of Asian entrepreneurs and advocacy. 

Growing up as a child of immigrants in a place without much diversity, Ruan felt a need to fit in, as very few around her had similar backgrounds and journeys. “It was a very long time until I met people and worked with people who shared my experience,” she said. “Growing up in Minnesota is definitely one area where I learned that having advocates is super necessary.”

One of Ruan’s first experiences in advocacy was at Mounds View, through the Mustang Mentor program. As a freshman, she experienced the guidance and support of upperclassmen, and by her junior year, she was leading the program, offering the same support to others. “[Mustang Mentors] showed me what it was like to be on [both] sides and how meaningful it can be to be a mentor for someone else,” said Ruan. 

This program not only shaped her high school experience, but also underscored the importance of mentorship, something that has profoundly impacted her in professional life. “I actually remember writing one of my college entrance essays about mentorship and the power of having somebody believe in you and be there for you,” said Ruan. “There were a few people that I met in my mentor group that later reached out and told me being mentored or having me as a resource really made a difference for them, and that was something really special and has stayed with me and in all of my jobs and roles since then.” 

After high school, Ruan continued her journey at Yale University. In 2014, Ruan landed an internship at Morgan Stanley — an American multinational investment bank and financial services company — in which she ended up going full time after college. During this time, Ruan met a mentor, Valerie Wong Fountain, who connected her to Gold House. “She actually happened to be an Asian woman in a managing director role, so quite rare in the industry. She introduced me to the founder of Gold House. I learned more about Gold House’s mission of elevating the Pacific community, and I realized that there was very important and meaningful work that we could do within Gold House to support entrepreneurs and investors,” said Ruan.  

Today, as a leading figure in the investment world, Ruan is known not only for her awards and achievements, but also her dedication to changing the landscape for underrepresented founders. “One of the things I noticed was that most of the [investment] managers who got money… were [of] very traditional backgrounds, white and male, not a lot of women, not a lot of minorities,” she said. “So, [I] really wanted to change that.”

As a General Partner of Gold House Ventures — a community that works to unite, invest, and elevate Asian Pacific creators and companies — Ruan embraces her role with a sense of mission, driven by her own experiences. “I’ve really seen myself as an advocate, because I have lived in so many environments now where I wished someone was there to advocate for me,” she said.. 

Ruan’s recognition in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list was a milestone not just for her, but for the rest of her company as well. “It adds legitimacy to whatever work that you’re doing,” said Ruan. “It was a mark of approval on the work that Gold House and Gold Ventures has done and everything we’ve built.” 

As for the future, Ruan is focused on the long-term success of Gold House Ventures and the broader goal of empowering Asian diaspora and other underrepresented groups. “I think about building out our fund to obviously empower founders who are at the cutting edge of innovation and building the world that we’re going to live in in the future,” said Ruan. “There’s always something bigger out there, something to achieve, something to reach for.”

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About the Contributor
Justin Shao
Justin Shao, Staff Reporter
Justin is a junior staff reporter, and this year is his first year on The Viewer.
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