Meet the New Principal of Strawberry Creek Ventures: Krithika Kumar
November 4, 2020 | Ashley Brindamour
We are pleased to welcome Krithika Kumar as Principal for Strawberry Creek Ventures, Alumni Venture Group’s fund for UC Berkeley alumni and friends. Krithika brings an entrepreneurial spirit and an incredibly successful life sciences background to this new role. We recently had a chance to talk with Krithika about her passion for venture capital and how she came to join the Strawberry Creek team.
How did you make your way to Strawberry Creek Ventures? (personally, academically, professionally, etc.)
My career has been inspired by two themes: intellectual stimulation and the ability to make an impact. I chose paths where these themes intersected. I earned a PhD in life sciences and founded a cognitive science company, and in pursuit of these same goals, I chose a career in VC. I heard about the Principal role at Strawberry Creek while I was a Venture Fellow at AVG. I knew the position would offer unparalleled exposure to revolutionary companies and the potential to positively influence the world, so I jumped at the opportunity.
What initially sparked your interest in working at SCV?
I have an entrepreneurial spirit that was initially fueled by taking research-based discoveries from the lab bench to the bedside. However, I soon realized that I wanted to expand my knowledge to sectors outside of life sciences, and what better way to diversify my knowledge than to work with a sector-agnostic VC firm? I applied for the Venture Fellowship at AVG and was a senior fellow with Castor Ventures where I helped with investments in AI/ML, biotech, SaaS, energy, sustainability, etc. I loved every moment of it. More importantly, I was impressed and humbled by the bright people and agile approach at AVG, so when the position at Strawberry Creek Ventures opened up, I was eager to be part of the group.
How did your college experience and connections made there influence your career?
A PhD is a long-term investment, much like venture capital. It taught me patience, how to hedge my bets, and persevere in the face of failure. I surrounded myself with like-minded people with an insatiable thirst for knowledge; people who valued critical thinking and could work through the grind, all of which are important characteristics of a good investor. Many of these people have gone on to start innovative companies, some of which I have been lucky enough to invest in.
What trends in venture capital are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about purpose-driven companies whose missions have undeniable potential to create value for all stakeholders. Increasingly, purpose and profits are becoming inextricably linked, with studies showing that companies that pursue a worthy cause attract the best investors and talent. These same companies have been shown to win the hearts of consumers. I am very excited to be part of this cultural shift that links the bottom line to a greater good.
What are you most looking forward to since joining the team?
I’m looking forward to working with some of the brightest minds in the business: entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Strawberry Creek/AVG team. And I’m excited to invest in pathbreaking companies, of course!
What resources do you recommend to people interested in venture capital or entrepreneurship?
The Venture Deals course by Brad Feld is an excellent introduction to venture capital for both aspiring investors and entrepreneurs. John Gannon’s blog is a good resource for finding open VC positions and advice on how to land a dream VC role. Demo days can offer a quick snapshot of market trends, industries, and key players.