Meet the team: Mike Balestrino
What do you focus on at B Capital?
I spend the majority of my time working hand-in-hand with our incredible founders on a range of projects, from strategic to operational, to help grow their businesses. Tactically, this means getting “under the hood” to gain a first-person perspective of what’s really happening with the business to help them prioritize and execute on their strategic objectives. Beyond the direct engagement, I spend the remainder of my time helping grow our firm, which could mean advising on our growth strategy or looking for solutions to help us become more efficient.
What attracted you to working at B Capital?
At the onset, the first thing that attracted me to B Capital was how much progress the team had made in its first five years. From building a global firm to managing $1.5B AUM, it was clear that this was a team that both had a vision and executed on that vision. Beyond the growth, however, was the people. Each person I met was incredibly impressive in their own right yet had a curious humility that was very attractive. Now, having been part of the team for a while, it’s clear that we grow through one another, with each person pushing and educating his/her peers to help the collective get better. I haven’t seen this dynamic elsewhere in my career, and it’s a big reason why I was attracted to the firm.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be doing?
As an avid sports fan, I’ve always imagined that I would end up working in some sports-related field. And while my aspirations to end up on a field ended years ago, I’d like to think I’d be trying to be the next “Brad Pitt in Moneyball.” My love for sports coupled with my inner nerd who’s obsessed with statistics and data tell me that if I weren’t in VC, I’d be somewhere in the sports business realm, ideally as a team general manager.
What is most interesting or unique about working in venture capital?
The most interesting part of working in venture capital, and specifically growth investing, is seeing first-hand how decisions impact the growth trajectory of a business. Having come from the F500 world, it wasn’t always clear how one’s work impacted the business, but the venture space provides a nearly real-time assessment of how decisions shape the business in the near and long-term.
What is something someone might not know about non-investing roles at a VC firm?
Something that surprised me about working in VC, outside the traditional investor role, is the amount of exposure you can get when experiencing growing companies’ inner workings. The ability and opportunity to see the mechanics of the business, coupled with the variety of the work, is extremely rare. Consequently, the learning is off the charts as you’ll be talking growth strategy with one company in LATAM one day and operational efficiency with a completely different company in the US the next.
Connect with Mike on LinkedIn today!