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Day In The Life: Meet Kapor Capital Summer Associate Adrian Williams

Estimated reading time ~ 4 min
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Adrian Williams
Summer Associate, Kapor Capital
Oakland, CA
Twitter: @williamadrians

7:00am: I wake up to my iPhone alarm and spend 15 minutes in bed scanning email subjects to ensure there’s nothing urgent; browsing Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter; and catching up on texts from my friends on the East Coast. I read a story about Elon Musk and then use Pocket, one of my favorite apps, to flag the other articles (one about Kanye’s influence on hip-hop and another all about the founder of the sneaker company Common Projects) for later. Working in venture capital, it’s definitely helpful to keep up with the latest news and trends; having a pulse on as much of the world as possible can help you recognize patterns and identify areas of opportunity.

7:20am: Up and at it. I cycle through The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Politico, Highsnobiety, and i-D by VICE. Notably missing is tech news, but I usually get plenty of that throughout the workday. As a summer associate at Kapor Capital, the investment arm of the Kapor Center for Social Impact, I work with the eight-person investment team evaluating, investing in, and advising tech companies that close gaps of access, opportunity, and information in underrepresented communities.

8:20am: I shower, get dressed, and have a bowl of Fruit Loops. Not the healthiest option, I know ... but I love cereal and will redeem myself with a proper breakfast sandwich later in the week.

9:00am: I head to the bus stop, a five-minute walk from my house, while listening to my favorite Spotify playlist. I really enjoy podcasts, but I love music. I just moved to the Bay Area from New York and am still adjusting to taking the bus rather than the subway. I spend the 15-minute ride reading daily email digests: Dan Primack’s Term Sheet, theSkimm, and the Blavity Bulletin.

9:30am: I settle in at my desk and catch up with the other four summer associates. The new office is a beautiful space with an atrium and open seating. After a few laughs, we all get to work connecting with current and prospective tech companies in our investment portfolio. I respond to a couple of emails and then prep for a meeting with a company coming in to pitch in the afternoon. Prepping involves reviewing the initial correspondence that our team has had, perusing the company’s deck, and building an outline of questions I have about the business.

Adrian associates Kapor

11:30am: I’ve got a little time before I head out for lunch, so I finish up an industry primer (i.e. a background document) that I’m pulling together for one of the investment team members. We have an important conversation with one of our portfolio companies later in the week, so I want to ensure that my colleague has all of the information that she needs.

12:30pm: Since I’m only at Kapor for a few months, I try to never go to lunch alone. Today, I eat with Cedric Brown, the Kapor Center’s chief of community engagement, at Locol, a nice neighborhood spot. We chat about his experience working in the diversity and inclusion space and my recent move to Oakland. Getting time out of the office with colleagues is an amazing way to make deeper connections outside of your day-to-day work.

2:30pm: A partner and I hop on a video call with a company in Kapor’s portfolio using WePow (a product by another one of the companies we invest in). They update us on their latest growth and share that they are looking for some strategic investors to help them build their sales pipeline as they prepare to raise more money. After the call, the partner and I sync, and I start putting together a list of relevant investors to whom we can potentially introduce them.

3:30pm: I dive into my capstone. All of the summer associates have end-of-the-summer capstone projects, and mine involves building out Kapor’s content strategy. As part of my research, I have a call with someone who runs marketing and content at another venture capital fund in the area. She gives me some extremely helpful advice on things I should be thinking about as I develop my project.

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4:00pm: A colleague Slacks me asking for my thoughts on a company that we just learned about. The company’s founder is in town and wants to meet up later in the week. I start reviewing their deck to make sure we have all the necessary background.

4:45pm: I run upstairs to grab a bag of cashews and bump into my coworker, who challenges me to a game of cornhole on the office roof deck. I lose the best-of-three series in a heartbreaking fashion, a la the Warriors, and then head back to my desk to respond to a few final emails. Things are winding down.

6:30pm: I don’t have any networking events or work-related plans this evening, so I text my childhood buddy to see if he’s free to grab a drink. He’s game. I pack up and head to the BART station to catch the train into San Francisco. Headphones in, I go back to my Spotify list while also reading investor updates from our portfolio companies.

9:30pm: After a few beers and lots of reminiscing, I get home. I realize that I’m still hungry, so I sauté some kale to counteract the bar bites. I recently cut my cable subscription, which has actually been amazing. I give my mom a call, forgetting that she’s on East Coast time, and chat with her for a couple of minutes. I open up Pocket on my laptop to catch up on those links my friends sent me earlier.

12:00am: Time for bed. I check my email one last time and scan my calendar for the next day so I'm not blindsided by anything when I wake up in the morning. From my pillow, I do a quick survey of Snapchat and then set my alarm for 7am.

The Kapor Center For Social Impact is a Jopwell partner company. Kapor Capital is among Jopwell’s investors.

Images courtesy of Mandela Schumacher-Hodge

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