Mark Grace

INVESTOR

Instead of wondering how something could fail, wonder how it could succeed.

Trajectory
  • UCLA (B.A. in Business Economics)

 

Perspective

As the most tenured employee at M13, I’ve had a front row seat for the firm’s growth. It’s been incredibly exciting and rewarding to be a part of shaping culture and translating our mission to do venture differently into action.

Being part of a really young company is a massive responsibility—who you are in the early days means so much for who you become—but it’s also a massive opportunity to change the conversation. That goes for every aspect of what we do, from how we communicate with potential partners to the culture we create within our own walls.

The venture community has an opportunity—and to an extent, a responsibility—to support founders that incorporate elements of sustainability into their mission. You don’t have to be a cleantech-only investor to do that.

Instead of wondering how something could fail, wonder how it could succeed.

The best ideas may sound counterintuitive or even wrong at first (who would allow a stranger to use your spare bedroom?), but it’s important to hear them out. I’ve been fortunate at M13 to be surrounded by people who think and act differently than I do, which provides a far better lens for evaluating these counterintuitive ideas.

At M13, the opportunity is even greater, because we focus on investments at the forefront of consumer technology and emerging trends. That means my job is about more than solely evaluating opportunities that might make for an attractive investment—it’s about seeing the emerging products and services that could become the next household names. It’s about suspending your disbelief and imagining a world that doesn’t exist yet. I consider that role, frankly, to be an honor.

I learned the hustle of an entrepreneur firsthand, because my mom and sister are both artists. Watching them work has taught me so many lessons about business and the experience of working for yourself, but also showed me how to bring creativity to my work.