Dave Saxena

Dave Saxena


My parents emigrated from India in 1972 with $50 in their pockets.  The first time they saw snow was when they landed in Minnesota. I owe them everything.

Sometimes I feel like I learn more from my 1 year old daughter and the wonder with which she views the world, than she does from me. (Don’t tell her that!) The founders and investors I’ve enjoyed working with the most often view the world in a similar way.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked in engineering, biotech, energy, investing and movies in every capacity from intern to senior partner.  I think being a generalist allows me to relate to founders of all backgrounds and personalities.  I love sharing stories of all the lessons learned and adventures had.

Gabriel and I met at college and have known each other longer than we haven’t.  Please don’t do the age math.

One’s quality of life is driven explicitly by the company one keeps.  Even when a new venture is going south or unexpected obstacles emerge, it’s hard to have a bad day if you’re fortunate enough to be surrounded by passionate, humble, hardworking people.  People who add energy to your life as opposed to take it away.  Our founders exemplify these characteristics and we’re truly fortunate to partner with them.

For the past 8 years, I’ve worked closely with a non-profit called Pratham whose goal is to help educate 100 million children in India.  One of our recent initiatives is called PraDigi which delivers tablets with interactive learning programs to rural villages.  We’ve been amazed at the success of the initiative which has reinforced one of my core beliefs: Cost-effective technology can truly change the word on a global scale.  Our founders will be living proof of this.

I’d like to be able to grow the majority of my own food.  Right now we’re generally set on an assortment of green vegetables, spices, squash, eggplant, avocado, peaches, oranges, lemons, limes, figs, mangos and guavas. Oh, and of course olives for olive oil.

I expect the relationships created through venture investing to last far beyond the life cycle of any one portfolio company. The people are more important than any idea.

It’s ok to be wrong.
It’s not ok to deny it.

Whether in sports or in business, I’ve found that during the most stressful times, it’s important to band together, laugh and enjoy the competition.  It’s important to have a driving mission to build a business.  But it’s only worth it if we all have fun doing it.