Denis Aven was born on 9 January 1994. He has spent most of his life living between three countries: Russia, the UK and the USA.
Father — Petr Olegovich Aven, entrepreneur, Chairman of the Board of ABH Holdings.
Mother — Elena Vladimirovna Aven (1958–2015), historian.
Denis Aven has a twin sister, Daria, and a younger brother, Philip.
Graduated in 2016 from Yale University with honours. Received a bachelor's degree in economics with a specialization in mathematics.
Starting in 2020, he continued his studies at Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA degree.
After graduating from Yale University, Denis Aven began his career as an analyst at Lazard, a financial advisory and asset management company. He was part of the restructuring and capital structure optimization group.
Aven worked at Warburg Pincus, an investment firm, on the technology team. While there, he was involved in investment projects in software, data, and information processing and business services.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, Denis joined 8VC's investment team.
Denis Aven's love of travelling was fostered by numerous family trips. Together with his family, he has been able to visit many different countries. As Denis himself notes, he particularly enjoys immersing himself in different cultures and getting an idea of how people live around the world.
Among the places that have impressed Denis are New Zealand, Bhutan and Chile.
Some of the most beautiful places in New Zealand are the Milford Sound fiord in the Fiordland National Park on the South Island and the volcanic zones of the North Island.
The North Island is home to three quarters of the country's population, as well as the capital Wellington, and the largest city, Auckland. There are five volcanic zones on the island, including 48 small volcanoes in the Auckland area, which constitute the Auckland volcanic field. Taupo Volcano, in the central part of the North Island, is considered the largest and most powerful active volcano in the world. It is also home to Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake. There are many geothermal springs, hot springs and geysers nearby. Mount Ruapehu, one of the country's two most active volcanoes, is also located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
New Zealand is divided into two climatic zones by the Southern Alps. As you travel around the country, the scenery changes from the north, with evergreen forests, ice-capped mountains and glaciers, to the subtropics, which are home to kiwi plantations, humid sea air and beaches.
The country's culture has evolved from a mixture of familiar western influences and the traditions of the indigenous Maori people.
It is also interesting to note that New Zealand is often associated with JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It is home to an artificial village, the Hobbiton, where the films were shot.
A small South Asian kingdom nestled between India and China and surrounded by the Himalayas, Bhutan is rich in diverse climates, from tropical and swampy foothills in the south to coniferous forests amid rocky slopes, mountain glaciers and passes in the north.
Bhutan's culture and heritage have been preserved for many centuries and are still intact today, partly because of the geographical features of the country. In effect, Bhutan is isolated by the Himalayas, which protect it from the influence of modern culture. The country shares a border with Tibet, which is reflected in the national art, architecture and the form of Buddhism practised by the local population.
One of the country's most important cultural treasures accessible to visitors is the Taktsang Lhakhang monastery, which is perched on a cliff. It can only be reached on foot via mountain trails. The temple itself is situated at an altitude of just over 3,000 metres above sea level. There are viewing platforms for visitors to take in the panoramic views and mountain peaks. The monastery itself consists of four main temples and residential buildings built into the rocky terrain. There are also said to be eight caves within Taktsang, but visitors can only explore four of them.
The town of Paro, near Taktsang, is home to the country's only international airport. Despite this, the town has retained its traditional decor and buildings. For many years, Paro was the only route into Tibet.
Most of Bhutan's monasteries have often had a defensive, educational and administrative role as well as a spiritual one. These include the fortress of Drukgyal Dzong (which was not rebuilt after a massive fire in the 20th century), Trongsa Dzong, Punakha Dzong and others. Tashichho Dzong, for example, is the official residence of the supreme lama of Bhutan and hosts court and government meetings. Most of the time, the fortress is closed to the public.
One of the socioeconomic characteristics of Bhutan is that it is a very environmentally conscious country. This is reflected in everything from the complete absence of railways to the widespread use of agriculture and local burial traditions.
Interesting fact: instead of GDP, the country's development is measured by the Gross National Happiness indicator.
Another country rich in national flavour and scenery, and perhaps the one best suited for an immersion in South American culture, is Chile. The small nation occupies over 4,000 kilometres of Pacific coastline and borders Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. This makes Chile a unique example of the fusion of indigenous, Spanish and Latin American cultures.
The country's most striking and famous landmark is Easter Island, or Rapa Nui. It is 3,500 kilometres from the mainland. The island itself is famous for its moai, monolithic statues which, according to local legends, contain the power of the ancestors of the Hotu Matu'a clan. There are nearly 900 statues on the island, erected in the early Middle Ages – between the 11th and 14th centuries. Researchers still debate regarding how the statues were transported around the island.
Chile has many other beautiful natural sites: La Portada, a naturally formed stone arch surrounded by coastal cliffs; Torres del Paine, a national park on the mountain ranges where you can see mountain peaks, lakes and waterfalls, glaciers and fjords; the Maipo volcano and a highland depression with salt marshes and Atacama lagoons.
Chile's capital and largest city is Santiago. The land of the Incas, conquered during Spanish colonization, has very few ancient monuments of traditional culture. However, the culture brought by the conquistadors has been preserved and protected.
Today, Chile is one of the most socially and economically stable countries in South America. This stability has only been achieved after several centuries of Spanish colonization, wars for independence, numerous abrupt changes of government and even a military junta. Since the early 1990s, the country has had a unified economic policy, which has led to Chile's overall stability.
In his spare time, Denis enjoys sports. His favourite activities are tennis, skiing and golf. He is a big football fan: he supports Chelsea FC and watches every match they play.
Denis Aven's favourite author is Ernest Hemingway, an American writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.