Justin Gordon (@justingordon212) talks with Pejman Nozad (@pejmannozad), the Co-Founder and Founding Managing Partner of Pear VC, a firm specializing in seed stage investments that partners with founders at the earliest stages to turn great ideas into category-defining companies. Over the past two decades, he has been a seed investor in some of the most iconic tech companies including Doordash, Dropbox, Applovin, Gusto, Guardant Health, Branch, Aurora Solar, Soundhound, CourseHero, and others.
As an immigrant from Iran, Pejman did not take the typical path towards becoming a VC. After arriving in the U.S., he lived in an attic above a yogurt shop and then worked at a rug store in downtown Palo Alto. He immersed himself in the vanguard of technology and slowly, with a few small investments, developed a reputation for both identifying talent and taking promising ideas to the next level.
Pejman lives in California with his wife, Mania, and their two children. He was included in the Forbes Midas List in 2021 and 2022 and ranked #1 in the U.S. (#2 in the world) on the Forbes Midas Seed List in 2022.
0:00 Pejman’s fascinating background and journey from Iranian soccer player to carwash and yogurt shop employee to rug salesman to investor
5:27 Where Pejman derives his impressive work ethic
6:27 What compelled Pejman to capitalize on the opportunity to transition from rug salesman to venture capitalist
9:00 What makes a great sales person
10:28 How Pejman was able to break into the industry and establish himself as a great investor and partner
11:54 Fostering authentic connection in an over-networked society
13:50 Building Pear as an institution to serve founders at the earliest stages
17:28 Taking 4 years to convince Mar Hershenson to partner with him and start a fund together
18:20 The process of raising their first fund while building community at Stanford
22:37 What differentiates Pear
23:54 Pear’s model and building their platform
25:53 Pejman’s big vision for Pear
27:55 What they look for in founders at Pear
30:03 Why he prefers to get to know founders in person before investing in them
31:09 What drives Pejman today
33:28 What makes Pear a great partner
34:14 Where to connect with Pejman
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