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Meet The Team: Andrea Wong, Associate & Chief of Staff

Over the summer, Andrea Wong joined Silicon Foundry as Associate and Chief of Staff after a six-year career in professional golf. She is a San Francisco native and has spent most of her time in California, outside of her travel on tour. Andrea earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California of Davis where she was student-athlete of the year and an All-American. After her playing career, she spent time as a venture fellow at Learn Capital and worked at a spatial intelligence startup. In this interview, Andrea shares her journey from professional sports to business, her interest in corporate innovation and emerging technology, and passion to grow the game of golf for women in business.


A notable part of your background is your experience playing professional golf and competing on the European Tour and LPGA Epson Tour. Tell us about your passion for golf, and some highlights from that experience. 

I grew up playing golf from a young age. My dad used to own a custom golf clubs store so he had clubs in my and my twin sister’s hands since we were 6. We started competing in tournaments when we were 11 and never looked back. We both went on to play in college and I decided to turn pro right after graduating. 

It was never my childhood dream to play on tour. My game really developed in college and my passion for the game grew, so I decided to give it a shot and I am so grateful I did. The places I got to go, the people I met, the lessons learned as a professional athlete were incredible. We played everywhere from Morocco to Illinois, Thailand to Michigan. It was a privilege to travel the world playing the sport I loved. It developed my character, resilience, and focus which has been valuable in my transition to business. 


How has your experience over the years in the LPGA translated to your work in business?

Life on tour is fast-paced and you are juggling a lot at once– travel schedule, nutrition, strength training, physical therapy, practice, coaching, tournament play, media, sponsors, and more. It requires a high level of organization, prioritization, and discipline. The competitive and high-performance environment of professional golf instilled a deep sense of teamwork, grit, and strategic thinking which are all important assets in business.

I learned to perform under pressure, adapt to different situations, and go the extra mile which has already served me well in my role at SiF. My experience in professional sports has given me a unique skillset where I can offer a different perspective on solving business problems and developing strategic plans. 


Based on your career transition, what advice would you share with those looking to bridge a large gap in interests such as between a corporate and a startup?

For people aspiring to bridge the significant gap between corporate and startup environments, my advice would be to embrace a mindset of adaptability, ask questions, and be open to change. Understand the problem, be realistic about how you can get there, and explore collaboration. Have clarity around the expectations of both partners and establish what it means to partner successfully. Focus on building relationships and having authentic conversations that can lead to real outcomes.


What was the transition to business-like, and how did you navigate the adjustment?

I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into, so the business transition was pretty seamless. Big thanks to the Silicon Foundry and Kearny teams who were supportive and willing to help every step of the way. For the first few weeks, I focused on listening and learning as much as possible. Right off the bat, the team threw me into projects, calls, and meetings, which forced me to adjust quickly in a good way. After a couple of months, I had a good idea of where I fit. I think the biggest change was going from being outside most of the day to the majority of my waking hours indoors. I have been able to remedy this though by initiating more walking meetings with my team which gets our creative juices flowing and has been really positive.


As Chief of Staff, your role carries a wide variety of responsibilities. Tell us a bit more about what you do and what aspects you are most energized by.

My role is multifaceted and primarily revolves around providing strategic support to our CEO, as well as ensuring seamless communication and coordination across the team. I help oversee special projects, manage priorities, support events, service members, and streamline operational processes to enhance overall efficiency. What energizes me most in this role is the opportunity to contribute to the strategic vision of the organization, collaborate with different team members, and problem-solve to address challenges that arise. I enjoy working across the organization, acting as a force multiplier, and driving efficiency that positively impacts the organization’s success.


Silicon Foundry works with corporations, startups, investors, and advisors across many industries and focus areas. Are there specific industries or innovation practices that you are particularly interested in? 

Silicon Foundry’s platform which sits at the dynamic intersection of corporations, startups, investors, and advisors across diverse industries and focus areas excites me. That is why I took this role. I love that one day I am researching fintech and another I am looking at agribusiness. I am particularly interested in AI and supporting corporations in thinking and building out their AI strategy. AI is obviously a hot topic and a high priority for the majority of corporations and helping them strategically approach how they are going to utilize, integrate, and build AI tools is interesting to me. 

At the core, I am a community builder and connector and I get excited to understand the business problems of corporations and help solve them through finding startup solutions. And I am even more excited by the prospect of leveraging my other passions like golf to build the corporate, venture, and startup ecosystems specifically among women who frequently miss high-value business opportunities because they don’t know how to golf. 


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