Irene Au is Design Partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with early-, mid-, and late-stage startup CEOs. She is dedicated to raising the strategic value of design and user research within software companies through better methods and practices, processes, leadership, talent, and quality. Irene has unprecedented experience elevating the strategic importance of design within internet companies, having built and led the entire User Experience and Design teams at Google, Yahoo!, and Udacity. She began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications, where she worked on the design of the internet’s first commercial web browser.
Irene graduated summa cum laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina in Electrical and Computer Engineering and received her Master's Degree from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Irene also teaches yoga at Avalon Yoga Center in Palo Alto where she is among the teacher training program faculty and is a frequent author and speaker on mindfulness practices, design, and creativity. She has authored the definitive O’Reilly book, Design in Venture Capital, and her popular essays can be found on Medium. Irene has been featured in Wired magazine, Fast Company magazine, CommArts magazine, and on the cover of Mindful magazine.