Many people liken venture investing to gardening, using such terms as “seeding,” “nurturing” and “growing.”
For Thorsten Claus, who joined Next World Capital as a principal in early February, the comparisons are not just platitudes, they’re his normal routine.
“Organic gardening is a lot like venture capital,” Claus told VCJ, a peHUB affiliate publication. “You have to have a lot of patience, once you plant the seed or fund a startup. And you’re going to have failures, in the garden and with your deals. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop what you’re doing.”
Claus knows of what he speaks in regards to gardening and investing.
The German-born investor has been in Silicon Valley for 13 years and since 2010 has worked as senior investment manager at T-Venture of America, the venture capital arm of Deutsche Telekom Group. His investments have included Demandware, Ubiquisys, Skorpios Technologies, Affirmed Networks, Assia, Jawbone, Blue Jeans Networks, Lookout, Ciphercloud, Newaer and Streetlight Data, according to his bio.
Before joining Next World, he took a month off at his home in Berkeley, Calif., where he lives with his wife, two kids, two goats and eight chickens, and is involved in the local urban gardening trend, growing a lot of his own food. He said he ends up giving a lot of eggs and produce to his neighbors, as well. “I haven’t shopped at the farmer’s market in a long time,” he said.
At Next World, a San Francisco-based, expansion-stage investor, Claus said he will focus on similar sectors to those he did while at T-Venture, which include mobile, IT and network infrastructure, and enterprise software.
Claus, who is on a partner track at the firm, said he will also help Next World grow its European advisory network.
“We have a wide network throughout Europe that is valued by entrepreneurs as our sweet spot,” Claus said. “Like a bountiful organic garden, this is going to be fun to help grow.”
Photo of Thorsten Claus courtesy of Next World Capital.