Morgan Stanley Interview: Carla Harris Speaks with APB’s Soraya Darabi on How Individuals Have the Power to Change the VC Landscape
11 Nov 2020
When she founded Trail Mix Ventures, now called TMV, APB speaker Soraya Darabi had a vision: to invest in design-driven companies that are shaping the future of work, health, wellness and living well. Recently, Soraya sat down with Carla Harris for a Morgan Stanley interview to discuss how she started her career, women’s leadership, teamwork, resiliency, diversity and conscious bias.
When it comes to teams, Soraya was inspired by entrepreneur and cofounder of Bravely (one of TMV’s portfolio companies), Sarah Sheehan. When asked how difficult it is for women and multicultural entrepreneurs to even get to a VC and what her thought process was like, Soraya says, “We invest with parity in mind. It doesn't mean we have a gender lens. We're not looking to back women, women will find us as frequently as men. We have had every diverse founder find us at TMV. And we're so grateful for that…But for us, it's now become a mandate at our firm, because we realized that we are in the minority ourselves for being a venture fund that cares about diversity.” Soraya also touches on mental health, “…you have Millennials and Gen Z employees entering into the workforce expecting work life flex. And that's very uncomfortable for big corporations that are not used to the new demands of a younger workforce. Simultaneously, according to Fortune magazine, America loses about $210 billion a year due to mental health.”
Celebrated by Fast Company as one of the “most creative people in business,” Soraya Darabi is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor with a recognized eye for spotting rising stars, breakout business models and tomorrow’s hottest trends in digital consumerism and consumer behavior.