Julian is an Associate with Red Sea Ventures. He started a career in technology at Fortna, a logistics firm, where he helped develop distribution & supply chain CAD software that is still in use today. After leaving, Julian joined Citigroup where he designed portfolio analysis systems and later transitioned to advising technology companies on M&A and capital market transactions. While at Citi, Julian continued as a freelance developer specializing in web programming, internet security and site design. Julian holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BSc in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia, where he graduated with High Distinction.
What startup verticals interest you most right now?
I’m really excited about the infrastructure needed for long-term viability of the on-demand ecosystem. A lot of great companies have launched different on-demand verticals to enthusiastic market reception over the past two years. However there’s a natural limit to how much the consumer is willing or able to pay for convenience. To operate under price constraints while maintaining unit economic profitability, on-demand companies are going to have to employ more advanced optimization of their delivery systems, employment strategies and resources.
What are your biggest predictions for the year ahead?
The next twelve months will bring exciting developments in the virtual reality space which has recently become somewhat of an arms race for large technology companies with limitless research budgets. Each month over the past year brought huge leaps in hardware technology and a consumer friendly device is definitely on the near-term horizon. When that device arrives, it will open up an ecosystem for new social environments in the virtual world.
Are there any specific company ideas that you really want someone to build and would potentially fund?
My favorite part of the movie Minority Report has got to be the gesture control computer. I’d like to see a company seamlessly embed audio and gesture controls into the home and partner with one of the many new, powerful AIs currently on the market. That would be an incredible system. All of the necessary components exist at relatively approachable price points today; it’s just going to take a talented team with a vision for seamless integration and great user experience to put it all together. As “push for [x]” lowered the friction for many tasks, I can only imagine how audio or gesture commands could remove friction altogether.
If you could wave a magic wand and instantly have any imaginable solution to a problem you’re facing (personally or at work), what problem would you solve?
This is a boring answer but scheduling / time management is my biggest pain point on a daily basis. We take a lot of meetings and a typical scheduling process can involve up to as many as six emails. I’ve tried a few automated assistants and scheduling tools but am still on the hunt for a process that both saves time and leaves a positive social impression. There are a lot of smart people tackling this problem so I’m hoping we’ll see a solution soon.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Just to spread the word about Red Sea Ventures. We’re an early stage opportunistic fund that invests across all sectors focused on the seed stage. Since our launch, we’ve built an awesome portfolio led by a group of insanely talented founders and are hoping to continue that momentum this year. If you’re a driven entrepreneur considering outside capital, we’d love to meet you!
If you have a startup or you’re interested in any of Red Sea’s portfolio companies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Julian directly email@example.com.