I’ve been friends with Manu since 2009 and an investor (personally) in his first two funds. I vividly remember the first time we met – we were both sitting on the floor in the back corner at the fbFund Demo Day at the Facebook office in downtown Palo Alto. A number of interesting companies were presented.
I adore Manu. I love his style, his energy, and his intellect. We’ve had many conversations over the years where he’s reached out to me with a specific question about something and it’s clear that I’m one of several people he was calling to collect data on something that would inform his decision. It’s a classic engineer / rational problem-solving approach that appeals to me. While Manu went to CMU, his style is similar to many of my MIT friends.
Not surprisingly, Manu still had our first email exchange. I love the minor “grapewine” typo in the first sentence.
From: Manu Kumar <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 10:58 PM
Subject: TechStars Demo Day in Mountain View, CA
Your posting below was forwarded to me over the grapewine. I’m actively investing in startups in the Bay Area and have been aware of some of the companies that have emerged from TechStars. Would love to attend and hear the pitches at your Demo Day in Mountain View.
You can see my full background on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/sneaker. It looks like we know several other folks in common too… look forward to meeting you.
While we must not have met there, I’m glad we were both in the back of the room the following summer. Our next meeting was lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto called Mandarin Gourmet. It was during that meal that Manu told me about the fund he was raising. I made a commitment to invest at the end of lunch and we’ve been working together ever since.
Also published on Medium.