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Future Founder Series — Part 2: Non-Obvious Wisdom

BIOS: Nucleus of Life Science Innovation 🚀

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Alix Ventures: Supporting Early Stage Life Science Startups Engineering Biology to Drive Radical Advances in Human Health

Calling All Innovators Click to Reach Out 🚀

We are honored to feature investors at:

Prefix Capital, KdT Ventures, Civilization Ventures, Arkitekt Ventures, Lux Capital, 8VC, SV Angel, Artis Ventures, Inovia Capital, & Alix Ventures

We asked our guests:

“What is one seemingly random piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring startup founders?”

“This will be 1000x harder than you think it is going to be. You have to be obsessed with the mission and ready to dedicate the next decade of your life to the company. If you have any doubts, don’t do it. You can make a lot of money working for a big company and until you’re independently wealthy, you will always have a boss.”

Byron Alsberg — Co-Founder & General Partner @ Prefix Capital

“Take a step back and breathe. A high-performing start-up can quickly engross you in the weeds of day to day. Taking a step back can remind you of the goals you need to hit at each milestone.”

Phil Grayeski — Principal @ KdT Ventures

“Don’t aspire to “be a founder”. Aspire to build something meaningful, whether as a founder or non-founder. Be authentic and add value.”

Shahram Seyedin-Noor — Founder & General Partner @ Civilization Ventures

“No, not any lawyer will do. Get an experienced startup lawyer from a reputable firm that knows what terms are “market” and what are not. It will save you a lot in the long run and in the meantime ask for deferred fees till your first round.”

Enke Bashllari — Managing Director @ Arkitekt Ventures

“Be ruthlessly selfish: make the job as fun for yourself as possible. Spend your time where you’re world class, where you naturally enjoy the moment. Build the skill to recruit, sell, and close comrades and teammates for all other aspects of the business. You don’t need to do it all. You need to do what you’re phenomenal at, and prove you can assemble an A+ team for everything else.”

Zavain Dar — Partner @ Lux Capital

“The reputation and brand of the company manifests as luck. If you think you are consistently getting unlucky, how can we improve your reputation so others make you luckier?”

Francisco Gimenez — Partner @ 8VC

“People respect those who respect themselves. As a founder, manage your time well, set boundaries, communicate your values and vision regularly, and take care of your mental and physical health. These simple acts inspire others to do the same, trust your leadership, communicate and feel confident in knowing where you stand.”

Beth Turner — General Partner @ SV Angel

“Find people you enjoy working with, whether that’s cofounders, investors or employees. The road will get tough and lonely at times, and oftentimes good people can make the difference.”

Ameena El-Bibany — Principal @ Artis Ventures

“Don’t listen to VCs giving you advice on how to be a successful aspiring founder. List the 5 founders you admire the most and find a way to get their advice and feedback.”

Antoine Nivard — Principal @ inovia Capital

“In terms of Chess — you first have to know what the pieces are, then how the pieces move, but it can take a lifetime to learn how to get good at moving the pieces.

Startups often can be boiled down to its simplest parts & its these levers that you can push/pull to maneuver outcomes.

Recognize problems for what they are, but acknowledge it takes a while to differentiate between what is a tiger that is actually going to eat your face off & one that is only masquerading as a life/death scenario.

Running an early stage startup often feels like you are constantly putting out fires, it takes time to learn how to put them out, but it takes even longer to know which ones to ignore.”

Chas Pulido — General Partner @ Alix Ventures

Insights

Following our popular first piece on advice for aspiring healthcare and life sciences founders, we decided to publish a continuation interviewing different investors in the space. To recap our previous article, our takeaways were: (1) do your diligence and partner with the right investors to make your company a reality, while thinking long-term (10+ years!); (2) nail your initial market and treat your first set of customers (and future references) right; and (3) be your own filter and final arbiter (whether that’s advice from various advisors, choosing which battles to pick, or fixing emergencies).

Here, we spy several common themes along the same continuum: (1) be prepared for a long journey ahead, (2) work with people you enjoy spending time with, while respecting yourself and your time, and (3) above all, be passionate about what you want to accomplish and why. We hope this is helpful for both upcoming and existing startup founders alike!

📣 If you enjoyed this post please clap 👏 & comment 💬 to let us know

Alix Ventures, by way of BIOS Community, is providing this content for general information purposes only. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Alix Ventures, BIOS Community, or its affiliates. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by Alix Ventures employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alix Ventures, BIOS Community, affiliates, and content sponsors.

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The Nucleus of Life Science Startup Innovation — By Alix Ventures