Kavita Patel, MD

Venture Partner

Kavita joined NEA in 2017 as a Venture Partner on the Healthcare team. In addition to her role at NEA she is a Nonresident Fellow at The Brookings Institution. She also served in the Obama Administration as Director of Policy for the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. Kavita has worked as both a researcher and a practicing physician. She earned her medical degree from University of Texas Health Science Center and her master’s in health services research from UCLA.

What excites you about your focus in healthcare?

There isn’t a single person who doesn’t care about health—regardless of life stage. Innovation in this space has the ability to impact quality of life in such a profound, meaningful way. It will always be a high-priority topic, and that makes it an incredibly exciting space to work in every day.

You’ve been at NEA for 6+ years now—what’s kept you here?

I can’t emphasize this answer enough: the people. The team at NEA is made up of sharp, diverse thinkers with no egos. I don’t have any patience for working with jerks, but that’s never had to be tested while at NEA.

How does NEA show up when a company is struggling?

Any struggles our companies have are our struggles as well. We’re not distant partners, so we feel the bumps in the road just as much as our founders do. So when challenges come about, we have an innate sense of responsibility to help our founders and their teams maneuver through them for the benefit of our LPs.

What’s a childhood trait that’s still present in you today?

Intellectual curiosity. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested in the why behind the why. While this trait often exhausted my parents growing up, it’s an attribute that’s served me well over the course of my career.

What was your first job, and how did it shape you?

I pierced ears at Sanrio Surprises in the mall. I think it was an early lesson in the art of empathy, because I had to understand how to accommodate and care for people’s fears.

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