Ayush joined NEA in 2023 as an Associate on the Technology team, focusing on enterprise and consumer investments. Prior to joining NEA, Ayush spent two years at Qatalyst Partners, in San Francisco. At Qatalyst, Ayush worked with management teams across software, infra, semiconductors, and fintech. Originally from Houston, Ayush graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in business honors, finance, and mathematics.
What qualities do you look for in a founder?
Three qualities I think are incredibly important include a clear vision—paired with the ability to articulate that vision in a compelling way—a focus on maintaining a strong organizational culture, and empathy for customers and their team. I believe the founders that embody these qualities have unlimited potential.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to your work?
I love working with groundbreaking teams and diving deep into unique ideas. I find it really rewarding to witness teams reaching new heights and to learn lessons from their stories. I also like the process of painting a high-level view of a category and understanding how and where these unique ideas fit into it.
How does your role as an investor feed your curiosity?
My role provides me with constant exposure to new frameworks and approaches to problem-solving. Being able to explore these alongside ambitious and visionary founders is what keeps me inspired to continue learning.
What’s unique about NEA’s long-term view toward investing?
I think Amara’s Law applies to company-building, too—people sometimes overestimate what they can do in the short term, but tend to underestimate what they can achieve over a period of consistent effort. I think what makes NEA unique in this regard is that, for us, joining a company’s board represents a commitment to supporting founders in their journey to exceed their initial expectations over the long term.
What’s a quote that you find inspirational?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”—Will Durant.
If you hadn’t found your way into venture capital, what would you be doing?
Honestly, I’d probably still be in some sort of investing role! I’ve always enjoyed learning about various markets, industries, and companies—along with the dynamics that govern them, their history, and current trends. I like examining all of those factors and then thinking about what makes for a strong business.