40 Minute Mentor: Abhishek Lahoti

“This is not necessarily a one-way transaction. Look at fundraising like it’s dating. The VC you’re going to choose, you’ll be stuck with for quite some time, so don’t play games and be honest, the whole way through…” 

This week’s 40 Minute Mentor is the brilliant Abhishek Lahoti, Head of Platform at Highland Europe, a growth stage Venture Capital firm based in Geneva and London. 

Within his role at Highland Europe, Abhishek’s focus is to build a strong network of advisors and experts to help the portfolio scale at pace. 

In today’s episode, we won’t just take a deep dive into the role of Head of Platform, but also discuss Abhishek’s earlier career at Dropbox, how and why he made the move into VC and his advice for Founders navigating this current market. 

Episode Chapters:

➡️ The most challenging part of being a VC [1:56]
➡️ Reflections on his years at Dropbox [5:30]
➡️ Moving into VC [8:16]
➡️ Transitioning from Operator to VC [11:17]
➡️ Advice for breaking into the world of VC [12:50]
➡️ A deep dive into the role of Head of Platform [17:45]
➡️ Highland Europe’s investment thesis & portfolio [20:04]
➡️ Treating your investors like dating [21:03]
➡️ Team culture & hiring at Highland Europe [24:21]
➡️ The US vs UK Tech markets [27:07]
➡️ Founder advice for expanding into Europe [31:36]
➡️ The biggest mistakes in fundraising pitches [32:53]
➡️ Waterfall resolutions and the power of networking [34:12]

Helpful links:
➡️ Connect with Abhishek: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alahoti/ 
➡️ Find out more about Highland Europe: https://www.highlandeurope.com/
➡️ Read the European Expansion Playbook: https://sapphireventures.com/blog/a-startups-guide-for-opening-european-operations/

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