Season 2: 10/10 VC Series — Growth Mindset 🙌

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Published in
5 min readMar 5


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Overview: 10 Questions to 10 Early Stage Venture Capitalists

This topic series brings together perspectives across a variety of early-stage VC funds to help readers gain insight into what investors believe to be key to their growth and success. In our belief that perspectives should be well-rounded and not monopolistic, we chose to feature 10 different investors rather than to dive deep with just 1 or 2 individuals. We have a lot to learn from each other and hope that by sharing 10 unique viewpoints, we may all come to our own insights faster. Our posts will be organized by question and cover topics including investment criteria, portfolio support, industry trends, and general advice.

We are honored to feature investors at:

Boehringer Ingelheim, Breakout Ventures, Arkitekt Ventures, Time BioVentures, B Capital Group, NEA, Bessemer Venture Partners, NFX, Not Boring, Mayfield Fund, & Alix Ventures

We asked our guests:

“Outside of investing, what is one seemingly random activity that helps make you a better VC?”

“Outside of COVID, it was travel. Seeing the world from a different point of view and doing all we can to avoid the echo chamber. During COVID, it was reading fiction as it forced me to stop thinking about work and reset.”

Kanad Das — Investment Director @ Boehringer Ingelheim

“Being a parent. It is a daily exercise in empathy that evolves with each year. The juggle is also quite real and great training in making decisions more quickly and focusing on what matters. For a lot of parents, it can also make you feel incredibly empowered, pushing you to do things you didn’t know you were capable of.”

Julia Moore — Co-Founder & Managing Partner @ Breakout Ventures

“Traveling, especially outside the US and EU to get exposure to different societal and mental models.”

Pavan Choksi — Partner @ Arkitekt Ventures

“Constant reading and engagement with aesthetics.”

D.A. Wallach — Co-Founder & General Partner @ Time BioVentures

“Nature walks with folks who aren’t traditionally in VC. For instance, I love walking with scientists and professors. The mix of fresh conversations, exercise, and being outdoors has a generative power to spark great ideas and new ways to spot innovation trends.”

Widya Mulyasasmita — Sr. Principal @ B Capital Group

“Planning a big family trip. A lot of venture capital is about managing expectations and considering multiple stakeholders. Between founders, other board members, and your partners, you are always trying to reach a mutually agreeable decision that allows a company to progress in the right direction, while addressing various angles of concern. It surfaces a lot of the same challenges as trying to pick the right time, the right destination, and the right activities to satisfy a large group of family members and ensure you’re all able to enjoy time together.”

J.C. Lopez — Principal @ NEA

“I’m a big believer in the theory of tiny gains. I take a growth mindset to everything I do, whether it’s improving my gardening and plant caring skills, focusing on wellness and fitness, or reading about new life sciences research. Practicing this trait is what also makes me always want to be better at investing and helping founders.”

Sofia Guerra — Investor @ Bessemer Venture Partners

“Reading Science Fiction books. Reading those kinds of books helps me envision a world different and better than the one I’m living in.”

Omri Amirav-Drory — General Partner @ NFX

“MMA and submission grappling. It teaches me humility and patience.”

Arvind Gupta — Partner @ Mayfield Fund

“Well before I worked in VC — or even did science — I spent a team of time reading fiction and poetry. I actually published works of poetry before I ever published a scientific paper! While at first it doesn’t seem related, I think this focus on language has helped for the unique path I’ve taken into venture with such a specific focus on writing and storytelling. This is a unique way that we partner with founders and concretely provide value at Not Boring.”

Elliot Hershberg — Partner @ Not Boring

“Cooking — there is nothing more tangentially entrepreneurial in my opinion. Great chefs, like great entrepreneurs, don’t follow recipes. Instead, they optimize for end results as they know that the desired outcome might often take the form of a moving target, as the ingredients have a tendency to change. What defines a great outcome is the ability to take a seemingly misfit batch of inputs and craft them with the proper technique to achieve the requisite output.”

Chas Pulido — General Partner @ Alix Ventures

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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