Rick Borenstein

Investment Committee Member (Newtrition)

Co-Founder and Chairman Sequoia Partners, Chairman Buddy Technologies Ltd. (BUD.AX), Board of Tastewise.io, Board of Center for Entrepreneurship, U of Michigan, Former President of Wells Fargo Investment Company.

Red, white, or sparkling wine?

Having owned three wineries in my life, I would consider myself quite an eclectic wine drinker. That being said, if I had to choose, it would be red. I find the complexity and variation in red wine to be to my taste and I’m totally enamored by Burgundian reds. When made well, they are truly magnificent. I’ve had a California pinot noir vineyard, but found it nearly impossible to make Burgundian style wines in California – it’s just too warm!

What would be your advice for a FoodTech founder?

As a venture capitalist, I am looking for companies with ideas that are really big. Many of the plans I come across in the food space are, at their essence, relatively incremental concepts. They don’t engender a huge opportunity dream. When I work with entrepreneurs, I ask them to think about their vision and then capture it in a story. I notice founders tend to jump too quickly into details and would advise them to take a step back and think about the big picture. Show us why their idea will result in a really large opportunity and then together we can work back to iron out the details.

What element of your work do you value most?

I have over 40 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and love learning new things with every investor deck I see. Working closely with entrepreneurs to help them achieve their dreams is the most enjoyable part of my work. When a founder calls me up out of the blue to brainstorm or share new ideas – it shows me they are eager to learn and willing to consider alternatives. It’s all part of the journey.