Viewpoint / Conscious Capital

Announcing the 2024 Mayfield Farmlink FIELD Fellows

I’m excited to announce the second cohort of the Mayfield Farmlink FIELD Fellows: student leaders dedicated to an 8-month, action-driven pipeline that educates, immerses, and enables changemakers to create an impact across different segments of the food system. We have a long tradition of philanthropy at Mayfield where we partner with community organizations addressing barriers to education, promoting diversity/equity/inclusion and providing innovative solutions to food scarcity. We are great admirers of The Farmlink Project, which is catalyzing the next generation of ambitious students to create sustainable solutions within the food space and enact innovative change.

We hosted a welcome gathering for the new Fellows during which we had a lively discussion around startups, founders, life, and AI. Here were a few of the key takeaways:

  • Be yourself in everything you do.
  • Always have a learning mindset.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Make sure you have mentors.
  • We’re a people-first firm, so we’re always spending time looking at the “people” aspect of company building: What motivates someone? What are they trying to do? Are they just pitching me or are they authentic? How do they treat people around themselves?
  • Building a company is like running a marathon, not a sprint, it’s hard. You need to spend the time and have grit to create greatness.
  • The chance to fail is always high in any startup. It’s a pattern recognition business. It’s a team sport. Know what you’re best at and surround yourself with excellence with other team members and have seasoned mentors and coaches.
  • Be first principles in everything and treat people the way you want to be treated. Practice respect, empathy, honesty.
  • AI is your teammate. Don’t be afraid, it’s the same as calculators and excel macros used to be. Humans are smart and always figure out how to leverage these tools. Think of AI as another horse – a new one that runs faster, is smarter and can reason. It will always need a jockey to ride it, who will be a human!

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