A little over a year ago, I realized that I wanted to be part of many more entrepreneurial journeys than just my own. And I wanted to do this without letting go of my own entrepreneurial journey(s) and becoming a full time investor. My goal was to contribute part of my time and capital (and all of my experience and network) to some of the transformative startups happening around me. For this to have any hope of success and impact, I had to do it with others who also wanted to commit part of their time and money – and all of their expertise – to other entrepreneurial journeys.

The vision was a seed stage venture fund with every partner contributing a little (or a lot) to deal sourcing, due diligence, and startup mentorship. A fund without management fees; with flexibility to each partner on time commitment; with committed capital governed by an investment committee but with syndication allowed on each deal; with variable carried interest rewarding partners who contribute to sourcing, evaluating, advising each startup.

If we got this right, the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts.

My earliest conversations were with friends I wanted an excuse to work with: Adnan Siddiqui, Aamir Sheikh, Charles Huang, Adnan Lawai, Hasan Rizvi, Shuja Keen, Rehan Jalil, Ahmed Khaishgi, and Jahanzeb Sherwani. All of them signed on to the vision and then helped shape it. All became founding partners of Mentors Fund.

We launched on Sunday, March 30, 2017 at a gathering at Shuja Keen’s home: 26 friends, entrepreneurs, mentors joining me as founding partners:

  • Umair Khan
  • Aamir Sheikh
  • Adnan Siddiqui
  • Adnan Lawai
  • Charles Huang
  • Hasan Rizvi
  • Shuja Keen
  • Ahmed Khaishgi
  • Jahanzeb Sherwani
  • Tarim Wasim
  • Rehan Jalil
  • Ahad Khan
  • Imran Haque
  • Omar Haque
  • Shafiq Khan
  • Irfan Essa
  • Khurram Afridi
  • Noman Ali
  • Abid Mohsin
  • Imran Sayeed
  • Ashhad Syed
  • Shaheen Dayal
  • Aditya Dayal
  • Ejaz Khan
  • Patrick Costello
  • Rahul Merani
  • Suneel Goud

We all said: let us be a fund that supports entrepreneurs transforming traditional industries. And there was Mentors Fund.

Umair Khan
March 2018