Know you want to Mayfield

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Terms of Use Privacy. T his interview was originally published by VSC. We sat down with Ursheet to get his thoughts on investing, what he looks for in a founder, the impact marketing can have on a healthcare startup, and much more. I came to Silicon Valley because I believed that if you wanted to change the world, you did it with a company. And this was a place where your ideas could be funded, no matter how crazy they were — as long as you could execute them. After that, I tried to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I loved the full product life cycle, and I felt I was ready to move from being the quarterback to being the coach, helping others realize their ideas.

So I started investing in core deep-tech enterprise IT, and over time I felt there was an opportunity to fundamentally impact healthcare and engineering biology. You have to believe that you can out-execute competition, and will need the confidence to communicate your vision to the world so the best talent and investors in the world can find you.

I had developed some health complications back inand the healthcare system was treating me like one of a million cases. That experience got me thinking about the intractable problems faced by the health system, and it became clear that computational biology would have a massive impact there, apart from AI. That same year, I found myself at Mayfieldone of the seminal birth funds of biotech with companies like GenentechAmgenApplied Biosystems, and others.

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In the 70s and 80s, entrepreneurs and investors were building companies to last — not to be acquired. By the 90s, the advent of the PC and the internet had accelerated innovation. In the past decade, the digitization of biology has created another digital transformation of healthcare. All of this newly quantifiable biological information can now be applied to cloud technology, machine learning, and so on. In parallel, the biology space itself has developed an incredible set of engineering technologies in the past eight years.

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Impossible Foods has brought engineering biology to planetary health and the food supply chain. Adaptive Bio and 10x Genomics are building platform biology companies for human health. It has become clear that investing in these companies needs to follow the built-to-last model. The second is to start with some great technology, then build a sustainable business, where either a consumer or another business has to pay you for your invention.

But the volume of exits in this newer model is still minuscule compared to those from the traditional built-to-sell model, in terms of dollar amount. Do you think having so many new sources of venture capital in the biotech ecosystem is good or bad for the industry?

Companies that started in these venture incubators have actually created drugs in the market, and the top tier investors have created returns for their LPs as well. On the one hand, you have a set of funds that are looking to exit in three to five years. Done right, it will create non-linear outcomes. Ninety-eight percent of the time, when it comes to product marketing, a scientist or an engineer will do a better job than most marketers out there.

You need to start by getting the core of your offering right. Once you have that, I find that most companies underinvest in marketing and sales. So instead of hiring your 30th scientist or engineer, founders may want to consider who is the right marketing partner. Two-thirds of the investments we make are with first-time founders, and one-third are repeat founders.

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There is no fixed formula, but there are entrepreneurial characteristics that define a successful leader. Being a continuous learner is critical. Are they solving a hard problem, with a hard to replicate solution? Are they demonstrating an understanding of what it takes to get paid through a complex ecosystem? What are their core values driving them to build the company?

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A lot of first-time founders will only talk to investors when they need to raise capital. I learn from entrepreneurs. Every day, I believe that the people walking in the door are smart, motivated, and focused. I do a lot of one-on-ones with other investors and academics and participate in board meetings. Any version of a problem I can think of, an entrepreneur is working to solve that problem. Company building is hard, and over the last several years, there has been so much capital available that I feel the experience creating built-to-last companies has diminished.

That, to me, is the biggest bottleneck from inspiration to impact. COVID is a wave. If you can ride the wave, it can be awesome for you. Otherwise, it will be a tsunami. There is a subset of companies already running that have core ingredients that will see ificant uplift from the accelerated approval paths and refocusing on infectious diseases.

The lasting impact will really be the behavioral change among consumers and institutions. Now, accelerated approval paths are changing the fundamental economics of building a diagnostics company. Couchbase is on a mission to empower enterprises to develop, deploy, and maintain their mission-critical applications by delivering a high-performance, flexible and scalable modern database.

Over the last 15 months, the performance of enterprise tech executives has been nothing short of extraordinary. Throughout the pandemic, C-suite technology leaders demonstrated a capacity One year ago, we announced our Access for All initiative, in which we set out to invest in relationships to facilitate diversity and inclusion. Since then, Team Investment Operations. About Beliefs Philanthropy Contact. Ursheet Parikh Jun 10, Tell us about your journey to becoming an investor: I came to Silicon Valley because I believed that if you wanted to change the world, you did it with a company.

That seems like a big break from enterprise to healthcare. What was driving that evolution? It was also the biggest entrepreneurial opportunity of all time. What is your passion for the value of storytelling and how is it reflected in the advice you give to your companies? It takes a lot of money to grow in this world, and storytelling is a powerful tool to attract investors. How do you help founders think about how much to budget for marketing?

Mayfield has a track record of working with second- and third-time founders. How do you determine the importance of a founder with experience versus first-time founders, which historically have great outcomes of their own. What influences you? What does your consumption diet look like? What are the problems that you think need to be solved through a startup? You May Also Enjoy. News Jul 22 Entrepreneur Journey Jul 22 News Jul 20 News Jul 14 Podcast Jul 14 Podcast Jul 7 News Jun 30 Viewpoint Jun 29 News Jun 25 Viewpoint Jun 24 All News.

Know you want to Mayfield

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