Atli Thorkelsson

Director of Network

What is your favorite part about working with portfolio companies/entrepreneurs?

The opportunity to work with so many passionate, brilliant people who are solving such different problems will never cease to amaze and inspire me. Watching them grow their ideas into companies that have lives of their own, and being in a position to help them along that journey — even in a small way — is a truly unique experience.

What’s one piece of advice you tell your portfolio companies when it comes to hiring?

If I only get one… it’s that founders need to lead hiring from the front. Spend another few hours a week on recruiting, or invest another 10% to get the best recruiter for the job. It will not only pay dividends when you hire great people that can take more and more off your plate, but it will also demonstrate to your team that the bar is high and inspire them to do better.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

It would be called “1001 Animal Facts,” and I’d make no money off of it, but the research would be a blast.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

The “improvement” mindset. This exists in a lot of places, but being surrounded by people who want to solve problems, develop better ways to do things, and generally improve themselves and others creates this buzz that I’m not sure I could live without. The views don’t hurt either!

What industry are you most excited to see evolve and why?

All of the no-code tool builders and modular productivity software out there! The ability to easily structure tools and workflows to work on the fly, without coding, is unbelievably useful.

The best part of my job is when….

I can make an impact on a founder’s ability to realize their vision. Maybe it’s a CMO hire that completely revamps their GTM motion or an advisor who thinks about the business in a new or different way — whatever it is, if it helps that founder, I feel like I succeeded!

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

I’d drive cross-country with Barack Obama. He’s the most interesting person I can think of that I’d still genuinely enjoy being stuck in a car with for hours or days on end.

What is the best trip you’ve taken and why?

Most of my family lives in Iceland, so I’ve visited every year or two for as long as I can remember. A couple of years ago was the first time I took my best friends there, and getting to share this piece of my heritage with some of the people I love most was an experience that impacted me more than I thought it would.

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