Danielle Strachman on Early Stage Entrepreneurship

“You know more than anyone else does about your company, so make sure to think hard about what you're doing and get great at making good decisions yourself.”

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Tell us about your current work!

I'm a founder and General Partner of 1517 Fund. We focus on working with founders who have stopped out or dropped out of university to start their companies. We focus on their group because we don't believe in a one size fits all format for education and starting a company is quite an education indeed! I love to work with founders and get important problems solved through entrepreneurship.

The subject area can Danielle can best help entrepreneurs with:

I help people with a lot of firsts: first company, first hire, first fire, customer development, raising money, team building, etc.

The best professional advice Danielle can give to entrepreneurs:

You know more than anyone else does about your company, so make sure to think hard about what you're doing and get great at making good decisions yourself (read up on decision making theory). Don't let others make them for you since they have limited information.

Mentor Hype:

When I'm not teaching my kitten tricks to join the circus, I'm most proud of getting our second fund off the ground and starting to work with great founders again. Not every fund becomes a firm and I'm proud that we are moving in that direction.

A book that changed my perspective: Zen and the Art of Making a Living (this book changed the course of my whole life)
Healthy Habit: Meditate (sometimes three times a day for 15 - 20 minutes each)
Best investment: The best we've ever made to date (at least in terms of what the public knows about) is Luminar Technologies. We have known the founder since he was 17 years old, and we funded his company when they were 5 people working out of a garage in Orange County. Now they have 400 employees and are making the best autonomous driving tech on the market. They are going to change the way we view transportation and cities as we know it.

If you want to get in touch with this mentor:

Send Danielle an email and read about 1517 Fund on their website!

Alex Gordon