Sasha Vidiborskiy is a Partner at Atomico, based in London. He focuses on enterprise software, including blockchain/web3, developer tools and AI/ML applications, among others. He has led our investments in Mondoo and Ben, and is on the boards of Jobandtalent, CloudNC, Varjo.
I'm inspired by founders that don't see limits in what could be achieved with the help of technology. Everything we can't live without today was imagined first and then invented by people who didn't ask whether something was possible – they just made it possible. Software and all the things it has allowed us to create have changed our world forever, so I’m particularly interested in developer projects that could build the next tools to help us explore our universe.
I was trained as a quantum physicist.
I spent days and nights in a lab building what are called qubits (quantum bits), thinking that we were ages away from there being a real-world system based on this technology. Here we are, 10 years later, and quantum computers are as real as ever.
Building a company is incredibly hard.
My first step in the world of real business was founding a company and I quickly discovered that following every step is not trivial and that many people take it for granted - e.g. getting your first customer, hiring your first employee, even setting up an entity. I have immense respect for founders who are waking up each day and solving challenges to make the world a better place.
It's all about people.
Markets can be favorable or not, defensible advantages can be strong or weak, metrics can be good or bad - but, ultimately, outstanding outcomes are defined by people and their personal qualities.
I spent the last 6 years looking at dev tools startups and more sophisticated software in general.
Before joining Atomico, I was a Senior Associate at Runa Capital where I worked with entrepreneurs from Nginx, Keymetrics / PM2, Yoopies, Cloudlinux, and many others. Seeing those stories got me excited about the transformational power that developer tools ultimately have on society.
Started as a scientist, continued as an early startup employee. Prior to Runa Capital, I ran Business Operations at Bitcalm, a 1-click backup and recovery SaaS for SMEs.I started my career as a Research Associate at a theoretical physics lab where I built a first-in-class tunable superconducting metamaterial.
Curiosity is a driver for change.
It's very hard to assess and change the situation when you're in the situation. Being curious about what's outside of your own realm helps breed a different perspective required for transformational ideas to flourish.
I have an MBA from HBS, an MSc in Theoretical Physics from MISIS, and an MSc in Innovation Studies from Skoltech in collaboration with MIT - maybe 2 master’s degrees more than I should have done.
I also can read Dostoevsky in Russian and explain what I did last summer in Romanian.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading sci-fi, snowboarding or playing ping-pong.
Sometimes I wish I could do all of those things simultaneously to maximize the joy function.