Raina Kumra — The Fund LA

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Raina is a partner at The Fund LA along with Anna Barber, Josh Jones, and Austin Murray.  

We talk about The Fund, ethics in tech, the benefits of daily turmeric and more. 

View Transcript

I am chatting with Raina Kumra today. Raina is a partner at The Fund LA. She’s the CEO of Juggernaut, a digital transformation agency. She helped stand up the tech ethics portfolio at Omidyar.

She has had a very interesting founder journey herself, and I am going to give up trying to summarize her career and just say hello. Hello, Raina.

It’s so nice to be here. 

There’s a lot of different places to start right now, but I was thinking, how about we start with The Fund LA. because that’s where you’re really actively writing checks right now.

Yeah, The Fund is going well, as you know, as you’ve had Anna Barber as a guest on your show a couple of times, right? We are on ice with our partners, Josh and Austin. And we are a classic pre-seed stage fund, and across really any category we do very little CPG we tend to be more towards the software side. I think we have a pretty great portfolio.

How many investments have you guys made?

 So we’ve made 24, 25 investments, I think at this point.

We’re just about to close on another one and we raised The Fund mid pandemic. And looking at our portfolio today and we, you know, we only write 50 K checks, so we have a lot of dry powder left to go, and we have another 20 deals to deploy and looking at our portfolio it’s, it’s really a great balance of everything that LA has to offer. 

Yeah. Okay. So tell me more about that because I am a member, so I do have this interest, which is that everyone should send lots of deals to The Fund because it’s a great resource for LA. So, there’s the four of you as in you, Anna, Josh, and Austin, and you have to give me a little color on Josh and Austin, who I know less well. Didn’t Josh, just go and buy an airline or something.

Yeah, so Josh was an early investor in Crack and, you know, has some Blockchain, Bitcoin DNA, and he did buy an airline. So I’ll tell you what I know, which is that it’s going to be the first Blockchain Airline, and you will pay for your tickets in Bitcoin because why not. 

I heard that he bought an airline. Interesting, I had no idea it was a Blockchain Airline. And then he’s also working on like, um, is it, uh, it’s not like a chairlift, but like a gondola or something. Is that a true statement too?

Yeah. I think you should definitely have Josh on the show to give you all the color on that because yes, there are many fun projects to look at there. 

Okay. So there’s the four of you characters, all four of you and then the members and I’m a member. How many members are you? How does the whole community around the fund?

Okay. So when I love about the fund model and you know, we’re now in six cities, three countries and growing. Is that it’s, it’s very repeatable. Uh, so with LA we started with 40, or our initial LPs who are all members. His requirements for those members is, must be a successful founder of a successfully exited company or a high growth company.

Um, or be, uh, an operator like an operator and migrants company. Um, and in LA that was not hard to find are shorty folks who are really our Qubole. And, um, and then we also raised capital outside of that. We’ve traditional LPs. Um, but you should have these fund members. Gets to partake in our community in many ways, including on slack, where, you know, lots of deals or posts, a lot of deals are posted and a lot of job offers are posted and a lot of hiring happens.

Um, and it’s just as wonderful network effects when you have the right people who want to be helpful. And actually we are all invested together in the success of this portfolio. It’s, it’s a great way to get. a fund up and running and also make sure that each of those portfolio companies get customer introductions and get help when they need it and get to bounce ideas off of folks who have run industry like industry companies before that have, have done a great job.

You know, I think there’s a lot that, um, that comes out of this. That’s also the soft side. Right? So making friends, um, I think folks, I think your future co-founders a lot of this has happened. 

Well, but, so that was one of my questions is, is someone, cause I am a member. Just say that again, but like if someone who’s not a member wants to be part of the community, is there a way to like, are the events open? Can, can other people be part of the fund community?

Yeah, I think we can, we can start opening up a little bit at the tendon and, you know, half our members bring a plus one on occasion. Uh, but mostly, yeah. Yeah. You know, we either invest in you or you join as a invested member and that’s sort of the only way to really get in. And I think there’s an ecosystem that exists around that as well.

And we, you know, we’re investors, we don’t, we don’t mind meeting awesome new founders that are friends of our other founders. So yeah, absolutely. we’ll entertain looking at decks from anyone from the fund and anyone from outside, but fine. Uh, if it’s a fit for our thesis, which is really does this make Las center community stronger and are these companies going to be, are they going to benefit from our members? 

Yeah, that’s great. And I believe that you have told me that you ask difficult ethics questions as part of your diligence process to statement.

True statement, true statement.

not deeply like, you know, we’re not, we’re not judging you on it, on your ethics, but we want to know, are you good people making good decisions at the early stage that you’re at, because that does matter. That’s sort of just general risk mitigation. 

I know, know that I believe you. I thought that you were judging people on their ethics.

No, no, no, I really am not. I’m not an ethicist. Just someone asking some questions that I tend to track with companies that have good outcomes. 

Do you have questions that you asked that you think have actually been really worth asking and that have led you to have sort of insight that you wouldn’t have otherwise had?

Yeah, I’ll give you, um, I’ll give you an example of a company that I’ve passed on. There was a. A company that was making like a black box, secure messaging platform. And they were, they were really, really excited about the technology. They were like, no one can get in here. No one can access it. You even post subpoena, like no one can get in and see these messages.

And you know, this is going to be great. This is going to be absolutely what’s needed for privacy, et cetera. And so I just asked them, you know, one, I gave them one. Really around, well, what happens if this gets into the hands of. Like a child trafficking rating, for example, or what happens if you know that actors generally are using this for something that is not an intended use, that’s really like, what are the unintended consequences of this thing that you’re bringing into the world?

And let’s at least just ask one or two questions to see where you are. And they were, there were crickets in the room. They had?

not thought about that at all. There was massive blind spots, um, all over in their strategy. And I thought. These are the kind of companies you have to watch out for. This is, this is the kind of software that you can release on the world.

And it’s so great and everyone’s using it, but it has, it has, it has a dark side. So please be aware of that before going in, um, and maybe design something around that in your product. So it’s not like deep questions. Uh, another set of questions I asked you, just like, how are you communicating your data?

really fit with your end user. So for consumer tech companies, this one comes up a lot or they’re like, yeah, we’re collecting data. We’re going to sell it at this revenue stream, blah, blah, blah. And they think investors only care about the revenue stream, but we actually care about a lot more. Of course. And I think it’s the terms of service, that is one of the most depressing norms in the tech industry of everyone just copy pasting some sort of generic terms of service instead of sitting down and really thinking about it as an opportunity for your brand an opportunity for your product to make a deeper connection and be more honest and transparent with your user about exactly the relationship you’re signing them up. 

Oh, I really like that. So just asking people, what are you communicating to your users? I like that as a question. 

Yeah, just great people like that. Yeah. I think there’s consumer movements rising right now where there’s just a lot of frustration. Maybe having a Whirlpool Dover consumer that, 

Yeah.

you know, that’s, I think in, in my thesis, that’s, that’s going to be a bigger and bigger problem as we move forward. 

So, um, so you speak on ethics because I have listened to you talking on ethics on like a number of different podcasts. What are sort of the messages? So one message I think is, you know, be clear with users about what you’re doing with their data. Um, what are the other messages on ethics that you think are worth hearing?

Yeah. I mean, I like to watch out for the word ethics because It does.

sound so judgy.

It does.

So Jackie, I know people run away from it and we’re like, ethics, wait, I’m a good person. I didn’t do anything wrong. Like, I’m like, I’m not the ethics police. So let’s use a different term. Let’s call it unintended consequences or transparency, or, you know, there’s, there’s a million other ways to brand this kind of thinking. 

And it’s, 

Okay. 

I don’t know. I just, yeah, I watch out for that. 

We’re going to, when I was like listening, when I was like, oh, rhino speaks on ethics. I was like, is she a finger pointy? That was the, it has that connotation.

Yeah, it’s problematic instead of only problematic. And I will like formerly divorced myself in the word ethics as soon as I can. Um, it doesn’t serve the purpose of getting people to engage in the conversation about really what happens when you put this product out in the world. And one of the very most basic underpinnings and others move question.

I like to talk to teams about. How did you design your product? Like, did you talk to your users? Did we talked to all your customer segments? Did you get really deep with them? Because that’s you do that? If I sort of bring that empathy through human centered design process in early, you’re already way ahead of the game.

So I’m always so much more comfortable making an investment to a team that really talks to their users. And not just once, but like frequently throughout the process, throughout the design process, post-launch all of it. The companies that do that are so much more successful and more set up to win, because guess what you get when you talk to people, you get the best insight. Insights are gold. Those insights will be given the right direction, whereas guessing and assuming and making stuff up doesn’t necessarily get you there. It also gets you into that sort of ethical laundry faster. 

Yeah, what about sort of more on the running the company side? And I don’t want to say with an ethical lens because you’re divorcing yourself from ethics, but you know, what advice do you have for sort of companies that want to be embedding this more into sort of their culture?

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, when I go in and do workshops for either, you know, more established companies where startups, uh, this question comes up a lot where it’s like, everyone’s tendency is like, we’re just going to assign the. Ethics piece or the, you know, the, the data piece to this one person and they’re going to be responsible for it.

There’s sort of this tendency to do that. Or there’s this tendency to bring in an outside expert. Who’s a verified ethicist. And like, you don’t need that. We actually all visually. This thing called the moral compass and we know how to make decisions and we don’t have to fall back on what is the norm, but rather make an active decision, every single line of code as the person who is writing that code and decide like, is there an effect here?

Is this something I need to like hit the red button on and make sure that. This is the right way to go. Or if an investor is pushing down on you, an outside partner is pushing down on the company to do something that, you know, wasn’t in your nature to do. And wasn’t really in your culture to do you have the moment to sort of stop it.

Every employee and everyone who’s working on the project versus just waiting for the CEO to decide or waiting for the PM to decide. 

So, okay. given the employee the ability to hit the red button or something, and let me try to play devil’s advocate a little bit, which is at Google, we worked on a number of hearts. One of the things I worked on was, access to information and like repressive societies or repressive situations. And honestly, if every employee has the red button, you end up sometimes in these situations where like we were working on what is freedom of expression on YouTube.

And we had all these like Neo Nazi recruitment skin had recruitment videos, but some of them. We’re more like freedom of expression of the way I feel about something. And somewhere like inciting violence,  but like, if you put everyone in a room, some people would feel the need to say red button and S and we re we did this, we pulled together people and they was like, half the room felt like we shouldn’t do something.

Half the room felt like we must empower freedom of speech. And at some point it’s just hard for a company like Google to navigate something like that. So, how do you balance the, like, it just gets tiring on management. If, if you, if people are always disagree, right. It’s easy to disagree and it’s harder to like make progress.

Well, you also can’t, you can’t make like no one can function on consensus. Like that’s crazy. That’s so inefficient. Um, and, and I think at the Google scale, which is a completely different scale, what I was talking about, more like startups, um, but at the Google scale, like it’s nearly impossible. If you look at YouTube, it’s what 400.

Video, maybe 800 videos per minute that are uploaded. There’s no way, um, both with algorithms and humans and, you know, whatever else processes you can put in place to catch. Everything can make that a perfect universe where everyone is happy and you can’t please everyone either. But I think for a startup is working on a more narrow product.

Yes. There were ways that they can mitigate harms early. 

And what sort of advocacy work are you focused on nowadays? 

I think in my advocacy work, it’s ended up being in tech because I’d worked in tech. So I, and I have this sort of activist advocate side of me. And I always like to have like a bigger mission in wrapping around what I do. Um, but now I’m sort of shifting. Away from tech and you’re trying to fight the algorithm and really moving to looking at big food in a big pharma and how those systems have pressed innovation. And having respect in how we eat and how our health is as you know, just human beings on the planet, human beings and the United States.

Um, and I think there’s just so much to learn. I’m taking a plant medicine course right now, you know, kind of semi fulfilling that. Destiny’s an Indian child to be a doctor. 

Yeah.

Um, and I really, I I’m just obsessed with how much can be done with just what we eat. So that’s, that’s a new area of interest for me and then climate 

It is interesting how much scrutiny has been on big tech, but I’m just starting to hear the drum beat around big food. Has anything in the food and ag space really stood out to you? 

Um, on, on big food, it is interesting how much scrutiny has been on big tech, but I don’t hear about like big food as an industry to deeply examine. Has there been anything there that sort of shocked you about the way the system is today?

think, what I’m learning right now and sort of things that I’ve always known growing up with higher data, You go to your kitchen, you go to your pantry. When you get sick, you don’t go to a medicine cabinet. That’s sort of the, one of the first instincts, right? And you can cure so many common elements through food or. Uh, fruit, vegetables, combination of a few of those things. And I think just having that knowledge has been really helpful throughout my life and I’ve taken it really for granted. but when I, think about like, look at a system like capitalism, right? If you look at this as like, if you look at the regulation around technology and regulation around venture, Non regulation.

I think you’ll see, like all of these things kind of add up to not always give you the best thing as a consumer. So right now, I think in food like we don’t have the best products available to us. If we had better products available, we would all be choosing those and we would be eating more healthfully and we would also be lessening chronic disease.

So There’s a whole systemic thing. I think what’s the most surprising to me is just looking at the way big pharma operates and why we cannot have a lot of them, certain natural plant medicines, because they’re brought in different farms. It’s very, very difficult to get everything into something that can be regulated like a single person.

So I’m just, I’m still in a learning process, but like everything is going to be aware. So, um, and it’s fun and exciting to learn something new after you’ve been in the field for a really long time, you feel like, 

Yeah. there was a column. Michael Pollan wrote it was called, silence of the yams and it was yams of all this. I forget like vitamin C and vitamin E. And yet they’re not really advertising their health benefits. The way that fruit loops might tell you it has, you know, vitamin E as well or something.

I love that. I mean, this morning, I, I don’t normally let my kids sugary cereals, but somehow it got into the house. And this morning my son was eating fruity pebbles and I was just reading the ingredients on the box, expecting it to be like awful. And it was pretty, it was pretty bad, but then I saw that they were using, um, trick human for their yellow dye, which made me so happy.

It’s seeping into big food, like some of the, some of the herbs and the plants and the adaptogens that we should be ingesting on a daily basis to fight off and ward off disease. So I thought that was actually a good, a surprising, in a good thing that happened. 

interesting. Um, okay, so this kind of leads into one of my questions, which is, I know you recently took what a securities exam to become, uh, Re registered something to become a registered agent of a broker dealer. Right. Okay. So, so tell me about that and what you learned about where our regulation is today.

I’m very curious what your big learnings were there. 

Yeah. Well, okay. First of all, taking an exam hasn’t been dealt. I do not recommend it. 

How long, of an exam is it? How long did you study. Yeah.

I studied for a couple of months for each exam. There were three exams to take. Um, and you know, what was, what kind of call me into that was my work on technology, ethics and regulation. And the future regulation technology. And that was really just curious about templates and other industries, where that are regulated and how did they, how did these regulation come into being and how are they adapted and how have things dated in place?

And, you know, when you look at the history that financial regulation or securities regulation, there is just like everything happened because of the crisis, So every act was because of. a lot of people losing their money. So how do we protect consumers, but the thesis. And I think all the regulation that has been developed, I mean, a lot of this is from the forties and the fifties and the sixties.

And a lot of it hasn’t been updated in a really long time, But it’s it works. It’s evergreen. A lot of it. Safe practices to ensure that everyone who is helping people invest their money or helping companies invest their money is doing so with a certain minimum standard. And I love that

But it’s only for people. If you’re helping them invest in public markets. Right.

no public and private markets. Yeah. I mean, and this is sort of like the buck doesn’t stop. If you are doing just public markets, right? Anyone who is a placement agent needs to abide by a set of regulations and rules and any broker dealer needs your bide by a set of regulations and rules. And I think that is like such, like I’ve learned a lot and I’m so grateful for all that. All of the very dry reading, it was extremely dry. I’m not gonna lie. Um, but just as just to have a template to apply potentially future regulations for our technology. because right now we’re relying self regulation and just imagine how different the world would be. If, you know, we had full tech regulation right now, 

Yeah. What were some of the regulations? Yeah. That were surprising or sort of new learnings for you?

I think it was mostly the history, like. Finding out like the story of how these apps were put into place. like there’s one story of a farmer. I think he was a citrus farmer in Florida who, you?

know, took a lot of people’s money and invested it into a citrus farmer was supposed to, but actually didn’t just took the money and ran off of it and claimed that, you know, he wasn’t.

And investment, like he was just a farm,  well, he shouldn’t be regulated. And so of course, that changed the law so that anybody out there taking anyone’s money actually needs to be regulated in a, in a proper. Um, and I think that, like, I just love those stories.

I think it helps make everything make more sense. And really it’s like, People from themselves. And how do you protect people who are coming from you and expecting you to be a professional and you know, what are you, what are your responsibilities again? It’s all the individual responsibility piece, sort of the same thing that I talked about with them.

The unintended consequences of tech products and Yeah.

so it’s just a really good template. And there were some great stories to kind of historically add and learn to enrich the knowledge and the reason why this exists at all. 

And, um, and you said one thing, which was something, something full tech regulation, what do you think, uh, what do you think future regulation might look like? Where do you think, you know, what do you think is sort of the most near term in terms of regulatory regulation? We might expect.

Well, California and Europe leading the way for sure. In terms of the consumer protection angle, uh, I think we’ll see more and more common from California. Maybe sweep across to DC and maybe go to the federal level, but it’s going to. So long. So in the interim, you know, which is really what I’m focused on in the interim, like what do we do now?

And so self-regulation is really our only best option. And if Facebook and Google and you know, all of our sort of, you know, the big five bank companies, aren’t practicing the best regulation that they can possibly think of right now. I think it’s gonna, it’s going to end up creating the gap that needs to be regulated.

So there’s a lot to, there’s a lot to be said for companies doing the best job they can. Right.

I think it’s fascinating that that private companies are doing so much that the public sector used to do. And then. Selves in the work that they’re doing, what do you think are the big areas of self-regulation where people are either doing a great job or not as creative job?

well, I think like Google is probably the one that I think is doing the best job. Um, as you know, they have lots of internal boards before something can be released and all around data protection and making sure that our bites by state laws and, country laws and and I think having a really strong process around it is one really good way of self recognition and, you know, not all companies have it. And I think Google, from what I’ve seen, Google is doing a pretty phenomenal job of making sure that that is as good as it can be right now. 

Yeah, okay. So having a good price. but it’s tricky. Like when I was there, this is a while ago, but it was like, you know, China didn’t want certain information that was like, you know, pertain to us or political activity. And, but then like, Ron, wouldn’t let two men kiss ever on like YouTube or something. And so like, you know, what are you having to edit out?

And how are, you know, abiding by each country’s rules is, is a tricky thing, but, 

yeah.

I think you remember, I used to be a co-director of innovation and the largest international media organization that no one’s ever heard accurately because it’s funded by the U S government. So voice of America, radio for Europe, and we actually had a daily show sort of satire comedy.

That was, for Iran. And so we had to do a completely different distribution model, obviously can’t broadcast in there, including doing physical distribution through CD wrongs and USB sticks. you do have to look at every country as its, own, regulatory environment. And then also its own cultural needs.

Like there’s absolutely no one size fits all. And having Le you know, run a global media organization, you have to banish as part of your job. If you want to get the message to people that are in a certain place, you have to speak their language a hundred percent. 

Do you have any thoughts on just the spread of misinformation right now and what tech can do?

Yeah, well, I think this is like the hardest problem to solve. So I worked on the Biden transition team and was on a misinformation working group for a while. And yeah. It is a really hard thing to wrangle. It’s like, we’ve really jumped the shark on this information, but yes, there are things that can be done to mitigate.

And I think this is one of the things that my greatest desire and wish for technology companies to get on top of is because it’s such a threat to democracy because it’s such a threat to just basically. Civil, uh, communication within our own country. And I mean, you know, the spread has passed. It’s it’s already, it’s already, it’s already broken so much.

Um, I think there’s, uh, there’s a couple of people that I love, uh, sort of following on this information. So Dana boy. I think has some really practical ways of looking at it. And, um, hang on one second. I have to look up. 

No I’ve known. I mean, Dana has been doing it for decades. She, I 

Yeah. And that goes, and then Joan Donovan, I love her work and she had great idea, you know.

In the pandemic, all these librarians lost their job and who would be better than librarians actually help curate information, Right.

To curate information that goes to the public. Um, and I think that. If you do a combination of algorithms plus humans, you know, maybe hire back all the libraries to work on this, be like a beautiful idea.

I love that idea. Um, and then the other thing that has been a massive problem with misinformation is all the paywall. And I wish the walls would come down because all of the good, true factual journalist, uh, sort of standard, uh, good information is behind the scenes. And so all of the crappy, not real, not true.

Misinformation is free and available for all. Like this is a problem 

the business model really doesn’t work for the truth in this format. we really need to re-examine the business model. 

 yeah. Interesting. Well, okay man, maybe I’ll change topics. Where am I going to go? Um, 

Yeah. 

policemen agent VC as an industry. so you’ve been talking about regulation. Obviously. Venture is not regulated.  You know, what do you think of VC as a whole?

Well, I think it serves a really necessary, component to the supply chain innovation. Absolutely. And it’s, we can’t move fast if we’re heavily regulated, there’s tons and tons of things that we need to do. Everyone. I know that works in venture. Does their diligence does a good job, you know, make is responsible fiduciary, all of those things.

And I’m happy to call everyone in LA a good colleague in that regard. Uh, but absolutely for innovation as a whole, there’s no way, there’s no way that these companies can get funded. I mean, you can look at models in other countries. No, there’s only corporate funding for companies and you can only do it if you’re at a certain level and there’s no earliest stage funding.

Well, that kind of brings us nicely to your own entrepreneurship. Can you tell me more about functional foods and what you are doing? 

Yeah.

So the way Indians used humor in cooking is this like basically a tablespoon in every meal. And so maybe twice a twice a day or three times a day, sometimes. You ingest that to your neck. And so over time it continues to build in your body and you start to get the effects of it. It’s a layering effect.

It’s not something that you can just have one. So you can, you can take a huge dose of turmeric pills if you wanted it to help with joint inflammation. If you’re healing from something really acute and yes, it will work, but it will work so much better for longer term disease. If you take it every day. 

I didn’t really know that. And I, I probably don’t consume enough tumeric 

I’m going to hook you up. 

Okay, fantastic. anything else? Uh, you know, just maybe more on the personal side of things, like, I’m curious how you run your life. Like you’ve got so much going on, you’re becoming an entrepreneur. I know you have small children at home, any tips for them.

Yeah. 

exactly. Um, you know, how do you, how do you approach sort of what you say yes to how you balance it?

Oh, gosh, good question. I am finally saying no, I’m fine with you saying there was a lot and just sort of focusing on something, you know, what it is. It’s just like when you’re in love. It’s very easy and very clear to make decisions. And I think when you’re a little confused, you say yes to everything because you’re not really because you like everything.

Like I like everything. I like everything that pitched to me and I initially want to check it out. But, I think time is the most valuable thing that we have on this planet. And I no longer want to sacrifice that for anything else than other than what I want to do. And I think. I I’m turning 44 on Monday and I really, it took me this long to figure it out. 

Yeah, that’s great. So being in love with. Pursuing your entrepreneurial journey has helped you have that focus.

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, you know, it’s really easy to say. Yes, it’s very hard to say no.

but you have to do it like, just like I will, you know, Cut into my time with my kids. Right. It’s just, you have, they know cause they’re only little, like they’re his youngest they’re possibly going to be today and that’s it.

That’s all you have. So I just, I look at that and you know, it took me a long time to figure that out and just be like, okay, No. I’m not being a hard ass. And actually really just living with posted live and mothering when I’m supposed to mother. Right. 

How do you think about going out? How do you think about going out in the evenings?

we go have it. I mean, wonderful childcare support in our lives. Without that I would be nowhere. I definitely don’t want to be a full time. Stay at home.

Mom. I think I’ve made that pretty clear to 

me, but, uh, you know, balance, how do you guys do it? 

Like. 

I, I feel guilty when I go out. That’s that’s my issue is I’ll let myself go out maybe one or two nights a week. That’s kind of my, how I think 

Yeah.

no, I think that’s, I think that’s good. And also, like, I don’t have the energy to go out for more than one or two nights a week anyways. Um, but the guilty thing, like I have, because. All it does is make you feel that it doesn’t do anything for your kids. It doesn’t help you enjoy your moment. So like, I would highly suggest you just kick that out in your life because mother’s guilt is like a very annoying, um, useless psychological tool. 

Right. It doesn’t help my kids. That’s a good point. Very good. Thank you. Thank you for solving that. 

uh, anything else you’d like to talk about? Cause this was a ton of wonderful material, but like I couldn’t ask a question that leads you into having a smart answer. If you’d like. 

Well, actually, I just wanted to, I guess, like plug in. I know we talked about it briefly, but like.

the near future summit. 

you know, that it wouldn’t be sure other people know about it. because it’s such a great platform for discovering new companies and new technologies and like, like its name or future.

It’s a, and I’m an advisor to the, to the conference and I love it. And, um, Zen Joaquin who runs it is like a very dear friend. Um, but it’s like its name it’s near. So it’s whatever is on the precipice of Coming into our lines and becoming the norm. like so much around climate, if you’re interested in climate technologies are doing a ton, if you’re interested in microbiology and, a lot of microdosing sort of clinicals studies are kind of coming to that stage as well.

And there’s just so much to learn. And I love going, I miss going to conferences because of that. Really fast learning and this one in particular, it’s just, I think every other conference that I’ve been to in terms of the amount of learning you get so highly. 

Where is it? So we did sign up for the near future summit.

Yeah. So near future summit.com and there’s information on there to get in touch, to apply, you have to apply to the event. 

Huh? Um, I’m always curious, like what are there other conferences you go to? What are the other, do you have any regulars? I mean, pre COVID times that you really 

Yeah. I, uh, I actually love conferences. 

I think. I think it’s that moment as a, as a parent where you get to sit on a plane. I think I like, um, 

you know, um, and I also like, you know, I like the learning and the interaction. Um, so near future is a great one. Um, I really love, uh, lobbying. Um, my, one of my favorites, 

Are you going this year? 

yeah. 

Oh gosh, everyone’s going.

I gotta go. You gotta come. It’ll be fun. 

So you liked the lobby. I liked the lobby. It’s in Maui run by August Capitol. What else?

Yeah. Um, I think those, and then there’s, you know, a couple of smaller like sort of dinners. I like dialogue as well, and I really enjoy it. Um, but Yeah,

I mean, there’s, there’s so many, I used to go to Ted a lot, I think maybe not so much on Ted anymore. It’s just, it feels too big and too much of an effort.

so look, if you’re more of the casual, atmosphere these days, like I don’t want to put on heels. That is for sure. 

that’s funny. That’s a good criteria. I like it. Um, I feel like LA is fancier though than sunset. 

Oh, it is, it is. Yeah.

Yeah. We get the balance here. We get a little bit of everything. Um, yeah, I think that’s, that’s it. And then when you, um, oh, well, I’ll let you, I’ll let you lead me down the path. 

Um, of anything else? I mean, I was just gonna generally say like one of my big takeaways, just to go back to make it full circle is we should all be sending our amazing pre-seed companies to you and the fund. 

Please, please. 

Um, and lots of other  📍 good takeaways here, but I wanted to make sure to emphasize that because I think it’s just amazing what’s going on for, for the community.

Yeah. Yeah, we’re really, we’re really proud of the network effects that are emerging. And I think it’s going to be really good for LA as this podcast. 

Thank you. He ran up for coming on the show. Great to see you. I’m sure I will see you soon. Great to see you. I’m sure I will see you soon.