Sarah Downey on psychology in venture investing and the power of founder to find the investor fit
Sarah Downey is an Operating Partner at Accomplice VC fund who are investors in Angel List, Carbon Back, Coinlist, Pill Pack, Dataxu, Draft Kings and many more unicorns. Formerly a startup person (at Ovuline and Abine) and a lawyer. Sarah is also venturing back into operator role to run a startup with Isabella Patton on personality typing systems in the Enneagram. She is a prolific angel investor.
Her blog: https://www.sarahadowney.com/
Below are the She-VC questions asked.
1. I love your VC blogs. They are must read for any founder. You were a lawyer turned startup operator then became a VC and now you are again back to Operator role in an amazing startup. What kind of mindset prompted you to make that change.
2. Tell us about your work with Isabella Patton on personality typing systems in the Enneagram. What kind of EQ, psychological framework is needed for startup fundraising. Especially in the early stage. Tell us more about this company.
3. Your social media says you are a 17 yr old boy in the guise of an adult female. Tell me how your love for sci-fi and your idiosyncrasy (which I love the most about you) helped you prepare in the world of venture capital.
4. Venture Capital is one industry that has not been disrupted. As we are seeing more people bringing movement into this industry, how do you see biases and prejudices that played in the past come in effect for people like you who are catalysts for change.
5. As an early stage investor, there are a lot of false positives in the private investing market signals. What are the dos and don’ts for an early stage investor in identifying such patterns.
6. You are also an angel investor. So tell us what kind of companies you are investing and what are the stop signs when an entrepreneur is pitching you.
7. Founder Investor Fit - The not so easy marriage. The power in the hands of founders.
8. VC investing is all about identifying patterns in time. Yet some of the bigger ideas are unpredictable and sometimes those investment decisions can be non-consensus among Partners. To invest in such unpredictable big ideas one has to learn and see things differently, analyze markets that others are finding it non-sexy to invest. VC is not a job but it is a lifestyle. What are the learning habits you have acquired during your investor days? How do you analyze various thinking models?
9. The dynamics of a startup board meeting. Tips for entrepreneurs to have an effective board meeting.