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James Flynn

  • Growth
We live in a probabilistic world. The goal is to accept uncertainty while consistently taking action to improve the odds of success.

Backstory

Growing up, I spent a lot of my time playing an individual sport. Squash instilled a hatred of losing and intense will to win; there is nobody else to blame if things go wrong, so losses feel very personal. It wasn’t until I got to Penn and played on a team that I realized how powerful it can be to have a group of people rushing to pick you up off the ground in a tough moment and how rewarding it is to be the one doing the picking up. Not to mention the strength of the bonds forged along the way. I aim to work with teams full of people who individually put it all on the line and ferociously support each other.

I’ve always been motivated by a need to understand the world. Initially, this was through a political, geopolitical and government policy lens. Those were the forces and actors I thought shaped our lives. Over time, it became clear that technological progress actually had a much greater impact and that innovation was accelerating. I wanted to be a part of it.

As someone who likes to have a point of view, I was always drawn to investing. Wharton imparted some useful skills, but there continues to be so much to learn. My experience at General Atlantic gave me the opportunity to see scaling tech companies up close. It also provided insight into how late stage investors evaluate businesses. I’m excited to play a role in helping founders get to that point and much further.

On the lookout for

I’m interested in tech to the extent that tech is changing the world. The reality is that almost all of the change is made by a very small number of companies: there’s this extreme outlier dynamic. Spending time around and dreaming with founders who have the hunger and audacity to join that contingent of world changers gives me tremendous energy.

I spend time across SaaS (application and vertical), fintech, consumer and hardtech but am more focused on the people and story than any given sector.

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