For me, it's all about helping people get their ideas to the point where they can touch the biggest number of people, and leave a positive mark on the world.Andreas Stavropoulos promotes and funds disruptive ideas—the more far-fetched the problem, the harder it is to postulate that it's solvable. That's why Andreas looks for people who can express why they and their team believe in an idea.
With his credentials, you might think his biggest influence is education (Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude at Harvard in computer science, along with an MS degree and first in his class at Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar), or, perhaps work (McKinsey & Company and Cornerstone Research).
But that's not the case. Andreas' forward-looking parents are his primary wellspring of inspiration. They taught him to do big things while living a balanced, happy life.
Andreas is DFJ's software guy, focusing on consumer and enterprise infrastructure, mobility, and technology-enabled services. He loves computer science and algorithms, and his eyes light up at the words "software platform."
Why software? Because with software, entrepreneurs can go from idea to impact quickly—without a lot of physical investment. He currently serves on the boards of Diamanti, Forward Networks, Resin, and Tango, in addition to looking after Zymergen and other investments on behalf of DFJ. Past investments include Appstream (Symantec), Centerpost (West Corp.), Epocrates (NASDAQ: ATHN), Everdream (Dell), Mobile 365 (Sybase), Meetup (WeWork), Silverpop (IBM), Vizu (Nielsen), and Yodle (Web.com).
At their core, all of his investments have a platform element. He believes that if software entrepreneurs do things correctly and build a springboard, they can solve big problems and quickly escalate the value they put into the ecosystem.
He loves meeting people who think differently, people who are ahead of their time. Although he loves technology, he recognizes that at the end of the day, it's more about the people. Finding entrepreneurs with that special something: a combination of belief, passion, and perhaps even a touch of idiosyncrasy.
For Andreas, there aren't many careers where you can help redefine entire industries and at the same time put your money where your mouth is. That's why he is at DFJ.