We’re excited to announce that Meha Patel has joined 645 Ventures as the newest member of our Investment & Research Team.
We’ve seen first-hand from our portfolio companies how new hires have a tremendous impact on organizational culture and help catalyze long-term success. When we seek to add new members to our team, we look for people who demonstrate a pattern of exceptionalism in their life’s journey, a tendency to be action oriented, a purity of motivation to help others succeed, and a desire to become a great investor. We saw all of those those qualities in Meha.
We first met Meha through our friend Caitlin Strandberg from Lerer Hippeau. On paper, she checked all the boxes — she had startup operating experience from her time at Zocdoc (a leading NYC tech company backed by Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures), hard-core quantitative skills honed at Goldman Sachs and The Chicago Booth School of Business, and relationships in the venture capital community from her time at Bowery Capital. After meeting Meha and speaking to her references (both personal friends and former colleagues), she truly set herself apart from other candidates. We were impressed by Meha’s unique combination of insightfulness, grittiness, and kindness, all characteristics we value highly at our firm.
Meha is joining 645 Ventures as the second hire on our Investment & Research Team, alongside Linda Lu. Linda championed the launch of our thesis-driven sourcing operation in 2018, after graduating from Columbia Business School. Also, Linda established the framework for how we combine deep research with advanced software to source, evaluate, invest, and share knowledge with early-stage founders.
We are incredibly proud and lucky to have Meha join the 645 Ventures tribe. Please join us in welcoming Meha to the VC community!
So, what exactly is an Investment & Research Team?
In 2018, upon raising our $40 million Fund II, we wrote a blogpost on category design in venture capital, describing how the early-stage venture industry is undergoing a tectonic shift influenced by several factors. These include accelerated startup company formation that is outpacing the networks of VC firms’ GPs and Associates; a significant increase in capital availability driven by a growing number of seed firms and the decision by some large firms to move downstream to seed; and growing accessibility of quality startup data that could enable a targeted and selective investment approach at the seed stage.
Our belief is that these market changes present an opportunity for new organizational approaches to early-stage venture capital investing that can lead to consistently identifying the next generation of unicorn companies in their most formative days. An important feature of our organizational design is moving from the individual investment apprenticeship model to group collaboration on a single investment team. This approach combines collective efforts towards outbound deal sourcing, thesis-driven research, and a value-add operation that provides targeted resources to enable our startups to scale to the growth-stage.
Our Investment & Research Team actively researches and builds deep relationships in the markets where we invest, allowing us to share market insights, best practices, and influential relationships with founders to help them scale their early-stage startups to growth stage businesses. Our shared research, which is accessible and reusable through our software, enables our firm to become a “prepared mind” in new areas of technology, providing focus to our investment sourcing and enabling us to better help founders even before we invest.
In addition to conducting and publishing research on breakthrough technologies impact on large markets (e.g. see To Password or Not To Password authored by Linda Lu), our Investment & Research Team studies the fundamental principles of investing from the world’s best investors across asset classes, allowing our team to think creatively about venture capital markets, entrepreneurial risk, and portfolio construction.
Our Associates on the Investment & Research Team have agency to source and lead companies to an investment alongside the firm’s GPs. The Investment & Research Team is the first line of offense at our firm, guiding founders transparently through our investment process, leading investment due diligence, and helping to facilitate value (i.e. customer intros, access to capital, brand and design, etc.) through our firm’s Success Team.
Similar to the founders we back, we are innovating in an industry that hasn’t seen change in a long time. And we are excited to have Meha join us on this journey to pioneer ways to compete differently in venture capital.
Aaron Holiday & Nnamdi Okike, Co-founders and Managing Partners at 645 Ventures