John Vrionis is a Co-Founder and Partner at Unusual Ventures. A venture capitalist since 2006, he’s been an early investor in over a dozen billion dollar plus companies, including: Affirmed Networks, AppDynamics, Arctic Wolf Networks, Carta, Harness, Liftoff.io, Mulesoft, Nicira, Nimble Storage, Sourcegraph, and DataStax. Originally from Georgia, John attended Harvard where he studied economics, applied math and played soccer. His drive to learn pushed him to earn his master’s degree in computer science from the University of Chicago. Inspired by successful entrepreneurs, John arrived in Silicon Valley in 2002 and worked in product management before completing his MBA at Stanford. John looks to work with entrepreneurs who have the hunger to learn and the drive to overcome difficult obstacles. In John’s words, “I believe that you learn by overcoming adversity. For me, whether it was sports, school, or in my personal and professional life, that’s been the truth. I gravitate to people who have an immense drive and the humility to keep learning.” Prior to founding Unusual Ventures, John was a General Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.
I had a deep desire to build a firm that raises the bar in the venture industry. We want to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and become people of substance and impact.
Find investors who are going to care deeply about whether or not you and your company succeed. Surround yourself with people who have complimentary skills and different perspectives. Seek out experts who will push you and work for you so that you can do your very best work. Tell your authentic story and remember the golden rule.
Product visionaries who are technical and have an obsession for building perfect solutions that delight users. I’ve always been a thematic investor as I enjoy deeply researching areas and building theses around opportunities that are ripe for disruption. My passion is helping founders take an idea and turn it into a product that can be sold repeatably, and I enjoy working with people who want to work as a team to crack the code for success.
We felt the venture ecosystem was stale and full of firms that all looked and acted the same. We believed founders deserved better from investors particularly at the earliest stage. We felt compelled to build a firm that was dedicated to early stage company building and a deeper engagement model than any that existed. We also wanted to be leaders in diversity and in supporting diverse LPs, and push the industry to new heights.