This week we hear from Sitar Teli, Managing Partner at Connect Ventures, the VC focused on seed and early stage investments in internet and mobile companies, including Curve, Boiler Room, Citymapper and Secretsales. Sitar sits on the board of a number of these businesses, such as Fiit, Settled and Pact Coffee. Previously, she worked with Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, where she led their Series A round with SoundCloud.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Everyone has the same amount of time in the day, so if you say “I don’t have time for that”, you’re really saying it’s not a priority. Make sure that’s true – figure out what your priorities are and make sure your calendar and where you spend your time reflects them.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
I can’t think of a specific piece of advice, but I recoil at any advice that’s structured like a fact or fait accompli. Advice along the lines of “you know, if you want to do X, you have to do Y.” That’s rarely true – there’s usually a lot of ways to accomplish whatever goal you have and you have to find the one that works best for you, your principles, your personality, etc. I’ve found understanding what I want and how I want to approach life really useful in helping figure out how I want to accomplish my goals.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Study what excites you and don’t worry about the traditional path. I took an intro computer science course in my second year at university and loved it, but I was already enrolled in both materials science and economics degrees, and was worried about not graduating “on time” if I switched out of one of them. Sunk cost won, I didn’t switch 🙁
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
We’re starting to see what software can do in some really big fields that haven’t innovated much in the past, like healthcare and financial services. I’m excited about the potential to materially improve people’s lives in areas that are fundamental to life.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Entrepreneurs who juggle family and building a business, especially women.