Anjula Acharia

Partner at Trinity Ventures. Entrepreneur, Angel investor and Manager to Priyanka Chopra

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON June 22, 2016

Discussion

Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
I’m Anjula Acharia, partner at Trinity Ventures and manager of Priyanka Chopra. I’m an entrepreneur, philanthropist, pop culture enthusiast and angel investor. I’ve invested in ClassPass, The Hunt (acquired by Pinterest), Mayvenn, Gobble, The Muse and many more. I’m delighted to be here -- ask me anything!
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello Anjula ! Great to meet you here. What is the best way a seed stage company to get noticed by you? Are you interested in companies in a certain vertical more than the others in the coming yeaR?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@neeeharika hi!!! I generally look for cultural shifts - for example I saw that people were going less to gyms and were obsessed by classes and paying a lot for them, so when Payal Kadakia talked to me about classpass I thought she was on to something. there was a real shift happening
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Anjula, I have developed a fashion App, which has got a lot of organic traction. What growth strategy would you recommend to bring it to larger audience?
Rohit Jha@jharohit · Founder @ transcelestial.com
According to you, what are the next biggest trends in B2B for the Entertainment and Creative Talent Management Industry? It is a $15-20B industry which still very "non-digital" & heavily relationship-based! Also how hectic is it to be managing such a busy star AND also be in a VC firm? :)
Rohit Jha@jharohit · Founder @ transcelestial.com
@anjula_acharia Thank you for your time today. Lots of good answers. It's a shame we couldn't get you for a bit longer!
Eva Otte Smith@eva · Marketing
Hi Anjula, you were on the "Elle 2016 Women in Tech" and you're passionate about gender diversity. How do we get more women into tech?
Eva Otte Smith@eva · Marketing
Hi Anjula, how did you become a partner at Trinity Ventures?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@eva I was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Trinity thanks to @ajaychopra who was actually a VC I pitched for my series B of desi hits. I always loved Trinity and the partners (in particular him because he was an entrepreneur himself) and he asked me to stay. I said yes!!!
Ranj Bath@ranj_bath
From all of your experience, If there's one thing you could do differently what would it be?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@ranj_bath LOL!!!! I would have failed faster and admitted to myself when things were not working in business - when your heart and soul is wrapped in something to accept you have to change or pivot. I really admire people who can do that fast..
Koji Kanao@twelvejapan · Web/iPhoneApp dev/legal tech startup
Hi Anjula, thanks for your time. I'm working for a startup and building MVP. We're a very early stage and trying to get funding. All of us don't have experience in startups' scene. Could you give us some advice? Like what to do and what not to do. Thank you!
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@twelvejapan I was in exactly the same position when I started. Listen carefully.... you need to be in the right environments and you need to network with the right people - VC's, angels, go to VC and angel events, there are so many of them. Don't just go there and sell yourself, engage in conversation about the space you are in, talk about the challenges and issues and inspire with your solutions. You have to engage in a 2 way conversation with people.... if they aren't contributing and engaged, notice and change your strategy, ask questions.... the right investors for you will engage in good conversation, the wrong ones won't....
Koji Kanao@twelvejapan · Web/iPhoneApp dev/legal tech startup
@anjula_acharia Thank you so much!!!
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · PMM @Twitter // Previously @ProductHunt
What does a typical morning look like for you?
raihan_@raihan_ · _/
As someone coming from an artist management background, I'm wondering: is there a certain cognitive shift between managing PC's career and the investing/VC end of your work? Or is there some osmosis between the two sectors?
Amit Singh@abeoye · Founder, Wow Labz
What's the best way to reach you Anjula?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@abeoye you just did !!! whatsup??!
Amit Singh@abeoye · Founder, Wow Labz
@anjula_acharia Haha! One of my portfolio companies matches your investment thesis - tech meets pop culture(non fashion/music but qualifies as Digital Media). It's SF based. I'd love if you'd check it out at your convenience and let me know if it excites you.
Gowthami@gowthami_s
Hi Anjula, Great to see you here! So what do you think is the Next Big thing?
Japna Sethi@japna_sethi
Hi Anjula! You've managed to follow your passion, work in multiple areas, and be incredibly successful. You've worked in entertainment/media, and expanded that to become an entrepreneur, a manager, and an angel. What advice can you give to young women (and others) hoping to do the same? What are some actions we can take to find our own individual path, and how did you discover it?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@japna_sethi hi japna, thanks for your question.... a lot of what has happened in my life has not been deliberate, I have kind of just been swept up in different winds and sometimes question whether that is good or bad ;-) success is a funny description because for many years I was building my start-up (which I eventually had to shut down) and I didn't feel successful at the time, in fact, I at times I felt like a failure. What I was able to do though, was look at what I was successful at and leverage those things to move on to the next, it is true that I followed my passions but those passions took different shapes and I didn't resist that. I have been surrounded by some very successful people who I felt knew me better than I knew myself and I listened to their advice and embraced what seemed crazy at the time. For example, I was a start-up founder from silicon valley and Jimmy Iovine told me to manage Priyanka Chopra, he said I was the ONLY person who would be successful because I had a different approach (because I was not from the industry) - it seemed absurd to me at the time, I had never managed anyone in my life and I had no clue what I was doing. He felt that was exactly what Priyanka needed. It totally makes sense to me now..... she is a different talent altogether and she required a disruptive approach and that's what I did because I didn't know any different. So I would say, listen to the smartest and closest people around you and maybe they will know your path before you know it! I also mediate a lot and block out the noise, listen to what I really want to do (I love this app called 10% happier that is kind of meditation for dummies) it really helped me become aware of the things I am telling myself .... maybe this is too deep for product hunt but of well!!!! I am out of time :-)
Japna Sethi@japna_sethi
@anjula_acharia Thank you for your in-depth answer! I will definitely look at the meditation app and listen to my close friends/family :)
Eva Otte Smith@eva · Marketing
Hi Anjula, how did you build your first company Desihits!
Eva Otte Smith@eva · Marketing
Hi Anjula, you were named one of "The Top Women Executives of Indian Heritage You Need to Know" along with Indra Nooyi, CEO and chairman of PepsiCo. That's an amazing achievement! How did that make you feel?
Eva Otte Smith@eva · Marketing
Hi Anjula, how did you get started building your network? And what advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Abhijeet S. Sutar@_ajduke · Senior Front-End Developer
Hi Anjula, Thanks for taking time on PH live. How do you manage time for different roles ? How is it like to be working with Big star- Priyanka Chopra? What are some unknown facts about working with Priyanka Chopra and in general as person ? (P.S I am big fan of Priyanka Chopra)
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@_ajduke Hi there, I find that when you are passionate about something its easy to work "all of the time!" so my work is my passion and I just spend a lot of time working!!! I do have down time but I also find my 2 jobs merge a lot of the time. Its great working with PC, when I started working with her she was a HUGE star in India but obviously not very well known in the USA so I treated our work together like a start-up. we did a lot of meetings and there was a lot of education!
Laf. Julius@laf_julius · co- founder @evolvesports
What's ways did you find were the best way to scale and gain traction early on in company?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@laf_julius you have to be willing to try lots of different things and watch the signs and see where you get peaks of traction. One of the reasons l like early stage startups getting angel/seed money only (and not VC dollars too soon) is because at the beginning or the journey you should be able to try lots of different approaches and tactics to your problem. Sometimes when you raise VC money you get locked into delivering on certain metrics and goals. you have to take time to really define the profile of you customer (sometimes its not who you think it will be) then listen to the pulse of them by trying out different strategies/ products. I have noticed that some companies I have worked on have gotten early traction in places or with a product offering they never anticipated.
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
1) What are some verticals/sectors that more entrepreneurs should focus on in your opinion? 2) If you were to start up an entire new business tomorrow, what type of company would you launch?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@tomstocklein I would start something that is at the intersection of tech and pop culture...
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@tomstocklein I would never tell an entrepreneur that they should pursue a certain sector or vertical, you should do what makes sense to you and where you see the opportunity to solve a problem. if you are truly solving a problem and you turn out to be the best ones doing it and its a problem experienced by a lot of people you can win!
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What are your favorite questions to ask founders seeking funding from Trinity Ventures a) during the initial meeting b) in the final meeting before you finalize your investment decision?
Anjula Acharia@anjula_acharia
@tomstocklein I love asking founders their personal story ... how they see the world, what problem they are solving and why they are the best person to solve it.