Vivek Ramaswami

What is your favorite part about working with portfolio companies/entrepreneurs?
Connecting founders with the right folks in the Redpoint network, whether it be for hiring talent, bringing on potential customers, finding strategic advisors or even locating office space! I love to help founders through their journey in any way I can.

How do you view your role with portfolio companies?
Being everything from someone to bounce strategy ideas with all the way to the “nitty gritty” tactical things. I want to be the first call when things go well and the first call when things are down. This is a long-term partnership, so being helpful to founders every step of the way is really important to me.

I get excited by companies where the founder is/ founders are ….
Hyper-passionate and knowledgeable about the market they are in, but open to learning. Markets are always evolving and the founders (and investors) who are able to adapt over time come out first.

How did your family shape your views on work?
Both my parents were in the public sector and taught me the power of hard work while also having deep empathy for those who are less fortunate.

How did you get your first job in venture?
I first encountered Redpoint when I was at Goldman Sachs. We were a bookrunner on the 2U IPO, and Tim Haley was on the Board. From there I was introduced to the Growth team and after many rounds of interviews, I was lucky enough to land my dream job.

What’s one thing people might not know about you?
I’m on the Board of Huckleberry Youth Programs, an SF-based non-profit

Favorite thing about San Francisco?
The wide-ranging and dynamic restaurant scene, especially in my favorite hood North Beach!

What is your favorite hobby/outside of venture, how do you spend your time?
Love outdoor running, Crossfit, wine tasting, international travel and reading.

Meditation or yoga?
Yoga

What makes Redpoint unique?
We take our work seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously! It’s an incredibly down-to-earth and fun group and we actually enjoy hanging out with each other, whether it’s a day-trip to Napa or after-work dinners.

Why did you choose to be a venture capitalist?
Although I started my career in investment banking, I’ve always been drawn to early-stage technology and the passion that founders have in building companies. I chose to become a VC to help founders in their long-term journey while also getting a front-row seat to the most exciting technology innovations.

What is your favorite book?
The Stranger by Albert Camus

People are often surprised to hear that I …
Played piano until high school

If you could take a road trip with anyone, who would it be?
Anthony Bourdain

What is the best trip you’ve taken and why?
I spent two weeks hiking across Patagonia and then driving along the Chilean coast tasting wine and sightseeing. Nothing tastes better after long hikes than some great Chilean Merlot.

What job would you be doing if you were not a VC?
Still attempting to make the NBA!