Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashkan Mapar.
Ashkan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My path to becoming a Principal and Portfolio Manager at Triton Funds all started my sophomore year of college at UC San Diego. I had been looking for a way to get my foot in the door within the world of finance, applying to any internship I could come across when I got the opportunity to join Triton Funds as an entry level analyst at the beginning of that school year. With little knowledge about venture capital and private equity, I quickly learned the basics of how to identify and structure great investments with both private and public companies from the other student founders at the time. As my sophomore year came to an end and summer came around the corner, the original founders of the fund had graduated and moved on to other endeavors which gave me the opportunity to take a big step forward into the role of managing the entire fund. I started summer 2019 as a Principal and Portfolio Manager of Triton Funds where I was now in the position to source, structure, and overlook all of our investments along with managing the back end, such as managing all the other students at the fund and communicating the our progress quarterly with our investors. I have continued to grow the fund’s portfolio and operations with the help of the other Principal, Jared Alexandria, and our analysts, Arnold and Casey.
Has it been a smooth road?
Coming into the role of a Principal at $25M investment fund as a 20 year old student has definitely had its ups and downs, but looking back I believe everything that has happened has made me improve into a humble and diligent investor. For example, I’ve been in situations where the little details that I missed cost us a great investment or put us into a not so great investment. Along with that, another challenge I’ve had to face is managing the expectations of management teams that are double, triple, and sometimes even quadruple my age. There have been times where these C-suite teams would try to take advantage of us being students but over time, I’ve learned how to go into every investment and craft an outcome that is a win-win for everyone. Overall, I’ve had some struggles along the way and will continue to go through more challenges as I grow, but as our mentors say: “It is human to make mistakes and go through difficult times, but the key is to never make the same mistake twice and to surround yourself with a great team. Once you have that, you can overcome any obstacle that comes in your way.”
We’d love to hear more about the business.
Triton Funds is the largest independent student-run venture fund in the U.S. with over $25M AUM. It was started in 2017 by a couple undergraduate students from UC San Diego with the goal of creating a bridge between college students and Wall Street by giving students the opportunity to make venture investments into both public and private companies. We have a full team of scientific and academic advisors made up biotech executives, doctors, fund managers, UCSD professors, and alumni. Our fund’s thesis is to make investments of up to $2M in public and private life science, technology, and consumer companies that either have our so-called “millennial touch” or could benefit from it. Our Millennial Touch is what sets us apart from every other fund in the country, which is the ability to provide a value-add to companies from the perspective of a student. At the end of the day, 95% of companies we work with don’t know what appeals to the younger generation or how to penetrate that market and that’s okay, but we have the ability to come in, give them growth capital, and guide them through that process to ultimately increase their sales and profitability.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I’ve found myself saying this a lot recently, and that’s that San Diego is probably one of the best places for someone in the venture capital or private equity space. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country and is becoming home to some of the top life science, technology, and consumer companies out there. Working in San Diego right now is like working in Silicon Valley in the 1980’s: both are cities in a period of high growth. Besides the benefits that come with starting out your career here, you are in a beautiful city, especially La Jolla, that is close to the beach, has great nightlife and restaurants, little to no traffic, amazing real estate, and amazing people.
- Website: tritonfunds.com
- Phone: 858-255-0469
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @tritonfunds
- Facebook: TRITON FUNDS, LLC
- Twitter: @tritonfunds
Jillian Anne Carter