I’m thrilled to be starting at USV as an analyst on our investment team. I’m joining USV from AeroFarms, a startup building vertical farms around the world. During my time there, I wore a bunch of different hats, ranging from working with executives as chief of staff to developing our expansion strategy and forming strategic partnerships as a member of the corporate development team.
Before AeroFarms, I studied Philosophy and Computer Science. One of my favorite philosophers, Christine Korsgaard, once wrote that philosophy is just ordinary reasoning rendered persistent. Her sentiment succinctly captures what drew me to the discipline: we all occasionally wonder about life’s big questions, and philosophers are just the people who stubbornly dedicate themselves to searching for ever better answers. I have found that the startup world is defined by a similar ethos, attracting people who notice the same problems we all encounter but who feel compelled to dig deeper and to try to solve them. At AeroFarms, I loved being surrounded by people whose ordinary interest in issues in agriculture became a persistent passion for wielding science and engineering to make food production more sustainable and secure. Now, at USV, I’m looking forward to meeting founders who refuse to accept easy answers about why the world is the way it is and who run towards society’s most pressing problems.
In that spirit, I’m excited to be working on our climate fund with founders who are innovating in critical industries like energy and agriculture and building out new areas like carbon markets and carbon removal. I’m particularly interested in deep tech climate companies transforming the hardware our society runs on. Beyond climate, I will be working on our Thesis 3.0, investing in trusted networks that broaden access to knowledge, capital, and well-being. Given the wide variety of companies that fall into our theses, it’s no accident that the USV team is committed to a generalist approach. As I dive into this new role, I’m equally keen on reading white papers, touring innovative production facilities, and playing guinea pig for new consumer apps.
If you’re building something that aligns with our theses, shoot me a note at [mm at usv dot com] or connect with me on Twitter @matthewjmandel!