Soraya Darabi – Taking Action and Living Well

March 4, 2019

At 23 years old, Soraya Darabi managed the digital partnerships and social media marketing for The New York Times. Not a bad start. Since then,  she has played a substantial role in the success of several amazing companies, her first three angel investments turned out to be hugely successful, and she is now one of the managing partners and founder of  Trail Mix Ventures, an early-stage investment firm focused on the “future of living well.” Much of this may have something to do with supporting your friends, paying attention to trends, and knowing when to take action.  Soraya Darabi, successful entrepreneur, angel investor, and Managing Partner of Trail Mix Ventures (a venture capital company focused on investing in living well) joins Socialfly Co-founder Courtney Spritzer in the MouthMedia Network studios for a conversation about building her company and her journey to success, along with a surprise and a brainstorm. In this episode:
  • How Soraya got into venture capital
  • Her passion to understand convergence and why labels were afraid of digital media and communication
  • Interning her senior year of college at Washington Post.com, helping Pulitzer prize-winning journalists understand digital media and how it would help enhance their journalism
  • Her next move to Conde Nett, and how three jobs were iterating how media was changing in real time
  • How Soraya fell in love with entrepreneurship and the platforms changing the landscape of digital media,
  • Feeling dismayed about how few women were in the room
  • How Soraya went to go work for one of them, becoming an entrepreneur at 26 years old, then the company was acquired by Facebook
  • How there should be more video content online explaining the ABCs of  equity to young women
  • Her next move as the co-creator of Foodspotting, and why it was the perfect training ground to learn the ropes on running a business
  • Her non-traditional route to becoming an investor, and how she didn’t grow up in a house that discussed business
  • Her first three investments in 2011-13 were winners: Contently, Brick and Co, and Casper
  • How it took six years to admit she was an investor and overcoming imposter syndrome
  • Investing in friends, why a good network is where you should start
  • Find partnerships and value to add into a company you can invest in, those relationships often blossom into fruitful ones
  • Believing in wellness and companies who affect us in a positive way
  • The importance of an inclusive and diverse environment women can work in
  • A disconnect between venture dollars and industrious women in America
  • How Trail Mix invests in purpose-driven companies addressing s growing economy as it pertains to wellness
  • Deciding Trail Mix Ventures should be a seed fund, and wanting to be additive to founders on their journey
  • Why owning 10% of a company is the most they generally want to start with
  • Helping  the people behind you and turning to the people in front of you, building a social network
  • Why there need to be more women in venture capital
  • Embracing the elements of your life openly and not being afraid to be open, including family ambition
  • Three pieces of advice: invest in friends, everything feels better in the morning, eventually everything connects
  • False starts and stumbling blocks, and with failure comes knowledge
  • A brainstorm on self-care