Amit Shah

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Amit Shah of Artiman Ventures Wants Entrepreneurs to Question Everything

Shah explains Artiman Ventures’ white space investment philosophy.

September 12, 2019 By Grace Wood – UCI Beall Applied Innovation recently welcomed Amit Shah, founder and partner at Artiman Ventures, an early-stage, sector-agnostic venture fund, and member of the UCI Samueli School of Engineering Dean’s Leadership Council, as a guest speaker for another installment of the VC Speaker Series.

During his fireside chat with moderator Jason Gersting, partner at Knobbe Martens, Shah discussed his expertise and insights about investment in the startup sector to an audience of local business people at the Cove @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation, Applied Innovation’s headquarters. Part of his presentation included Artiman’s white space approach to investment, which funds entrepreneurs who apply current technologies in unexpected fields.

“If you were to go look at the technology portfolios in the graveyard of Silicon Valley’s tech space, you’d find some amazing technologies that have already been invented,” said Shah. “[Steve Jobs’] whole philosophy was the key art lies in the problem statement and then going back and finding the technologies that are available to go solve that problem.”

The audience asked Shah questions about business and investment.
Photo by: Rthura Cevallos

Shah and Gersting also examined investment with early-stage businesses and strategic company development. Shah advised the audience of entrepreneurs to stay curious and persistent.

“Figure out a way to standout,” said Shah. “If you talk to 50 experts in the field, you’ll know every question you need to ask.”

Fielding questions about investment advice and business growth in different sectors – including academia – Shah reflected on his own experience in and out of the academic startup sector and offered insights on how faculty can improve the startup space.

“Going from a research laptop to a research prototype to a development prototype to production, the gaps are significant and need many different skill sets along the way,” said Shah. “Professors really need to understand a commercial mindset.”

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