Sahil Chopra believes that the next 10 years will bring more billion-dollar exits from startups started by female and minority founders. But this can’t be achieved as long as we’re living with a ‘this is just how things are’ mindset. 

Simsan Ventures is a market disruptor, and that’s putting it lightly. The venture capital firm was set up by brothers Sahil and Sagar Chopra to back diverse businesses that value inclusion as much as they do. Ultimately, inclusive teams outperform the competition. Simsan Ventures General Partner Sahil Chopra writes.

 

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Sahil Chopra, Simsan Ventures

The UK is a fantastic place. Cultures rich, enterprise abundant and talent plentiful. Anyone can become anything. However, something is holding this incredible nation back from totally flourishing: outdated mindsets.

We are taught here from a very young age that it is vital we get a university degree in a mainstream subject such as economics, mathematics, business etc. from a Russell group institution. Don’t get me wrong. Education is everyone’s right and the universities are incredible but should this dictate your career trajectory in finance and entrepreneurship? Do you remember your degree modules? Do you apply them in your work? Do you think the same way at 18 to 21 then you do now at 30? Are you even the same person? Interesting I know. 

This, coupled with the fact that we were working for an x number of years at a top investment bank, accounting firm or consulting company would give us the best chances to be considered for startup funding or launching our own investment fund. Right?

Absolute nonsense in 2021, if you ask me. Look at the USA. Okay yes fine it’s a huge country and despite its obvious criticisms, America truly has that anyone can become anything attitude with no prerequisites for achievement. People start venture capital funds within university and go on to do phenomenally well with no track record!

Entrepreneurs start building multi-million or even billion-dollar businesses at 16, 30, 50 or even 60. College dropouts have established unicorns.

Imagine if you applied to a funding programme here in the UK or asked to meet a VC and you declared that you were a 35-year-old, college dropout who has worked in, let’s say, a small office for the past 10-15 years. Would you even get through the door? Would your potentially life-changing business concept even be heard out? No. You would go back to your 9-to-5. Wasted potential for yourself and the country. 

Now turning to underrepresentation in the UK. Who are the underrepresented? Women, immigrants, black people…? There are certainly some characteristics or profiles on paper that stop people from jumping from computer applications to in the room with key financial decision makers. Or even for a job interview! This is a fact.

Diversity in teams, organisations and even sport increase performance and returns. I challenge anyone to come forward and says it doesn’t.

These frustrations have led to the reason why two young British Indian brothers have launched their own venture capital fund. Simsan Ventures has already had diverse and underrepresented entrepreneurs come forward to apply for financial backing in one week of being live and starting fundraising. We are and are becoming the beacon for these demographics that have so much business genius and who will create the next big companies out of the UK. Our organisation will pave the path for the much-needed future emerging venture capital fund managers in Britain and for start-ups that have the potential to change civilization going forward. It’s time to make everyone ‘represented’. Don’t you agree?’

Sahil Chopra is the General Partner & Co-founder of Simsan Ventures.