Chen is a managing director at August Hill, a global advisory firm that brings industry-leading operators and founding teams together to accelerate smart growth. He has more than 20 years’ experience with investing in and operating innovative technology and real estate firms — from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to his role at August Hill, Chen served as executive vice president of product and innovation at Anywhere Real Estate (formerly Realogy Holdings), where he was responsible for product, partner programs, agent/broker learning, strategic marketing, corporate ventures and consumer programs. He also served as COO and CEO/president of ERA, an Anywhere brand.
“We’re extremely excited to have Simon join our advisory board,” said 25V Diversity co-founder and General Partner Max Diez. “Not only does he have a diverse background as an Asian American, his deep expertise in advisory roles will prove invaluable for our fund.”
Chen began his career in real estate more than 20 years ago, founding and eventually selling one of the first tech-enabled real estate brokerages. As a highly sought-after and respected industry thought leader, he has testified about competition in real estate brokerage before the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. He continues to mentor and advise leading real estate venture capital funds. He also helped inspire Diez to start 25V.
“Simon told me, ‘I’ve seen you taking all these advisor roles and see your passion for helping diverse entrepreneurs. You should consider starting a fund,” said Diez. “And that planted the seed that eventually blossomed into 25V.”
The 25V Diversity Fund invests in startups founded by Black, Latinx, Asian, LGBTQ, women and people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds so they can build successful tech companies that disrupt the status quo. Chen’s professional acumen and lived experiences make him an ideal advisor for the fund. He joins Diez and 25V Diversity Fund Managing Partners Alexandra Tieu and EJ Pineda.
“I have known Max and Alex for several years and have always been impressed with the intelligence and work ethic as operators that they put into everything they do,” said Chen. “I’m honored to help the 25V Diversity Fund in its mission of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion through venture investing to create a brighter, fuller, more successful future for all.”