Oct. 10, 2022

UVC: Maryanna Saenko from Future Ventures on investing with an abundance mindset, 3 questions she asks while assessing a deep tech startup and future of food and energy

UVC: Maryanna Saenko from Future Ventures on investing with an abundance mindset, 3 questions she asks while assessing a deep tech startup and future of food and energy

Understanding VC is a deep dive into how venture capitalists work. In this episode, I speak to Maryanna Saenko, Co-Founder at Future Ventures. We started the conversation by discussing why Future Ventures invests in only technology risk startups, why it’s essential to invest with an abundance mindset, and whether it’s possible for a VC fund to build a portfolio of such companies while achieving good returns. Maryanna shares why deep tech startups originate in and around universities and 3 questions that she asks while assessing a deep tech startup. Furthermore, she explains why Future Ventures has a 15-year fund cycle and how they support their portfolio startups despite a very small team. We end the conversation while discussing the future of food and energy. Tune in know more.


In this episode you will learn:

  • Why does Future Ventures invest in only technology risk startups?
  • Can a venture fund afford to build a portfolio of just deep tech startups while giving good returns? If so, how?
  • Maryanna shares why she invests with an abundance mindset and why it’s important.
  • 3 questions that Maryanna asks herself while looking to invest in a deep tech startup
  • How does Future Ventures support the startups they invest in?
  • 2 reasons why deep tech startups originate in and around universities
  • Why does Future Ventures have a fund life of 15 years instead of the traditional 10 years?
  • Why does Future Ventures operate with a tiny team and not follow the service model that many large funds employ, and is it sustainable?
  • What does Maryanna think about the future of the food industry and energy?

About

Maryanna Saenko is an early-stage venture capitalist with an interest in robotics, quantum computing, blockchain, aerospace, and the future of food. Previously she was at Khosla Ventures, and prior to that at DFJ, where she worked with Steve to focus on frontier technology investments. She was also an investment partner at Airbus Ventures where she led a series of venture investments strategically aligned with Airbus’ future-of-aerospace initiatives. Before Airbus, Maryanna was a consultant at Lux Research and a research engineer at Cabot Corporation.

Maryanna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in BioMedical Engineering and a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering. 

Maryanna Saenko Profile Photo

Maryanna Saenko

Co-Founder and Partner at Future Ventures

Maryanna Saenko is an early-stage venture capitalist with an interest in robotics, quantum computing, blockchain, aerospace, and the future of food. Previously she was at Khosla Ventures, and prior to that at DFJ, where she worked with Steve to focus on frontier technology investments. She was also an investment partner at Airbus Ventures where she led a series of venture investments strategically aligned with Airbus’ future-of-aerospace initiatives. Before Airbus, Maryanna was a consultant at Lux Research and a research engineer at Cabot Corporation.

Maryanna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in BioMedical Engineering and a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering.