Meet Sohila Zadran (Berkeley ‘07), Strawberry Creek Ventures Principal
The young entrepreneur and polyglot VC distills why she’s eager to invest in Berkeley-connected startups
Sohila Zadran, who joined Strawberry Creek Ventures as Principal in April, brings a kaleidoscopic skillset to our fund.
She’s founded three biotech/digital health companies—one of which exited, while two others are in diligence for acquisition. She’s served on advisory boards at SkyDeck Berkeley and qb3; and she’s consulted for Founders Fund, Strathespey Crown, Pacific Capital Hong Kong, and Khosla Ventures. Sohila also served as Principal at BCG Digital Ventures.
If all this weren’t enough, Sohila is also a neuroscientist and former NIH fellow who’s excited by future-shaping technologies like AI and the possibilities they offer researchers, entrepreneurs, and the public at large.
In other words, she’s a perfect fit for Strawberry Creek: Berkeley is among the top research and entrepreneurial institutions in the world, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with an alum who knows the incredible value of its startup ecosystem.
Get to know Sohila below and learn more about how Strawberry Creek invests in Berkeley alums.
What’s your connection to Berkeley?
Berkeley is the last civilized place left on earth, so naturally I went there to be trained by the smartest hippies in the world.
Tell us about your professional background. How did you land in VC?
Luck, mostly. I’m a neuroscientist who uncovered a cool piece of biotech that was spun out as a company. When the company was acquired, the investors asked me to help on other deals. The rest was history.
What sparked your interest in working for Strawberry Creek Ventures?
I really wanted to do something with my alma mater — Berkeley made me, no doubt. I was also boxed in previously, looking at only biotech and early stage specific deals. Now I have the opportunity to look at a wide variety of deals across different sectors.
Which venture trends are you most excited about?
Artificial Intelligence is exploding right now and, as a neuroscientist, it’s really exciting to see theories once isolated in the literature make their way into real use cases.
What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned during your time in VC?
1. Trust your gut.
2. Look at (or up) the numbers. Use quantitative metrics.
3. The founding team and its dynamics can make or break a company.
Which resources or sources of inspiration are most useful to you on a regular basis?
My mentors have been incredibly influential in my venture career and have been a constant source of inspiration and advice.
What else would you like to share about yourself?
I’m fluent in four languages.
Strawberry Creek Ventures is a network of Berkeley alums investing in Berkeley-connected businesses. Click here if you’d like to learn more about venture investing with Strawberry Creek.