Chris Barbin - Embracing The Grind

Chris is a serial entrepreneur and investor with more than 25 years of experience across a dozen startups, private and public companies and various social enterprises. He is currently a Venture Partner at GGV Capital in San Francisco and Shanghai, as is a sought after expert on company culture, team building and what it takes to scale a business. He has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos and Beijing, among many other events, and is a contributor to

Chris began his career in the mid 1990’s at Grainger, a Fortune 500 industrial supply company that he helped launch into the Internet age with - one of the first B2B e-commerce platforms that is now generating north of $5B in annual sales for the company. From there he moved to webMethods, where as SVP of Global Services he helped grow the company valuation from $50M to a $10B company, and all the way back down to reality through the internet bubble.

Chris is most widely known for his leadership at Appirio, a global cloud services business that he co-founded in 2006 and led for 12 years as CEO. Appirio was one of the early pioneers in cloud computing and grew to 1,200 people in 5 countries. It was eventually acquired by Wipro Technologies in October of 2016 for $550M. During Chris’s 12 year run at Appirio, he and his team won multiple ‘Best Places to Work’ awards for Appirio’s corporate culture and was named a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.

Chris current sits on the Board of Trustees at Bates College in Lewiston ME, his alma mater. He also holds advisory board positions at Studio Science (a design and innovation consultancy in Indianapolis) and Southern Grist (Nashville’s #1 craft brewery). He also has a portfolio of personal investments including PlushCare, YouBet, ANT Financial, and Eaze.

In addition to his work at GGV and consulting, he is also an operating partner at Thunderboss (a lakeside bar and grill in Green Lake WI that he built and opened with his wife in 2018), as well as two tequila businesses - (a premium tequila business focused on a direct to consumer model), and Compoveda (his own private label tequila).

Chris and his wife Lori live in Winnetka IL, Green Lake WI and on United Airlines trying to keep up with not only their businesses but also their three kids.

Check out what Chris is up to at: