Employee Spotlight

Welcome, Nelson Mills!

Link Ventures welcomes Mills to the Investment team

Nelson Mills

Recently, Nelson Mills joined us as a Principal at Link Ventures. We sat down with him for a brief Q&A and thought we’d share the conversation!

Why Link Ventures?

I was looking for a VC firm that had some overlap in sector investment, for example, consumer tech and fintech. I obviously wanted a great culture with an awesome team — one that I could collaborate with yet still maintain my independence. The Link team’s presence and enthusiasm impresses me.

Tell us a bit about your early background.

I had an unusual childhood; I grew up homeschooled on a sailboat in the Caribbean. So there was always quite a bit of ambiguity — not unlike the life of an entrepreneur. My parents were very spontaneous, free-thinking people. They were entrepreneurs themselves, active in the restaurant business, and they imparted to me a sense of possibility — in all things.

…and your more recent background…

I’ve always been someone who’s enjoyed working on smaller teams, working together to build something new. I’ve worked for a few different companies and startups, the highlight was leading the development of two boat models for the electric boating startup, Pure Watercraft. It’s the best feeling in the world to work hard on a product and then finally see it live in the world. I love venture, because I love talking to founders and partnering with them to build the next wave of innovation. It is a hugely rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Are there sectors that you’re passionate about or where you see innovation coming through?

I’m excited by the continuing innovation in fintech and web3/crypto. Consumer fintech has the ability to democratize access to financial products so I am excited by any company that can get more people banked, lower costs for everyone, or give people access to financial products which were traditionally reserved for the wealthy. Sometimes that can be achieved with decentralization and it will crossover into web3, though not always. But what I really love about web3 is that it gives people the power to own, protect, and — if they want to — monetize their data. I think one of the bigger issues right now though is enabling mass consumer adoption of web3/crypto tech. The UX just isn’t there quite yet and I think some of the underlying infrastructure isn’t quite cheap enough and fast enough to compete with many centralized products, like domestic payments. I’d love to invest in companies changing that.

What qualities do you look for in seed-stage founders?

I look for people that are driven and have a clear story about why they’re building in the space they’ve chosen. What’s their competitive advantage? What’s the connection with existing customers? Do they have an amazing ability to market or a deep understanding of what their target consumer wants? Also, something I really care about is that they have a sense of purpose for building a positive and ethical team culture. Every founder has to be able to hire and manage an amazing team. I’m looking forward to working with all the talented founders at Link!

Link Managing Director, Lisa Dolan, and Principal, Nelson Mills
Link Managing Director, Lisa Dolan, and Principal, Nelson Mills, at his new hire lunch.

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Investing across the US in tech and D2C internet companies. Based in Kendall Square, Cambridge with @CogoLabs.

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Link Ventures

Link Ventures

Investing across the US in tech and D2C internet companies. Based in Kendall Square, Cambridge with @CogoLabs.

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