Abhinav Pathak Neel
IMPACT INVESTING

Abhinav Pathak & Neel Daftary

#109

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Research at Woodstock Fund

Abhinav Pathak & Neel Daftary, Woodstock Fund

“A collective global approach is being taken so that we arrive at a certain level much faster. And then, in a more collaborative way, we can all benefit from it and not just have silos built.”

ABOUT

Abhinav Pathak
I am a blockchain, finance, and economics enthusiast, currently working at the intersection of these fields at Woodstock Fund. I am passionate about photography and football, having been involved in them actively for over 10 years now.

Neel Daftary
Finance, Economics and Business enthusiast with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.

REQUEST INTRODUCTION Arrow

THE FULL INTERVIEW

Abhinav Pathak & Neel Daftary

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to the Supporters Fund Ask An Angel. I’m your host, Jeffery Potvin and today please welcome my two guests. we’re going above and beyond today so we have Neel and Abhinav. And we’re pretty excited to have you guys on the show today. And the best way for us to start is I’ll get you guys to introduce yourselves. maybe Neel will start with yourself. just a quick background on yourself, from your school, the teaching side and what you guys are doing now. And then one thing about you that nobody would know. Neel: understood. And thanks for having us here as well. Yeah, so I did my engineering in electronics through an engineering school back in India and I initially was very much into the electronic space as well. I did some research around material sciences and did some experimentation with Graphene. i just realized that that space was more or less moving, very slow. So, I kind of got into finance instead. And one side of things, i did a minor in finance as well along with my education in engineering. And I did a short strength in the algorithmic and dice team at JP Morgan but I realized that tech and finance were like two different things that were being explored over there. Even though it was a role that was supposed to be something between finance and tech, it just felt like there was a disconnect over there. And in 2020, I came across this thing called D5 which is Decentralized Finance. And just looking at the sheer innovation happening in that space, I realized that this is what finance and tech combined should look like. And I just decided to make the switch over and join with stock. And as far as something that I can share would be, I’m a cycling enthusiast. back in 2021, I did around six and a half thousand kilometers of cycling as well. So, that is something that I do in my free time.
Jeffery: brilliant. in your free time. It sounds like you might be doing that quite a bit every day. That’s awesome. very good sport and great to hear about the D5 section. I think that that’s brilliant. very exciting. Abhinav, over to you sir.
Abhinav: Thank you so much Jeffery for having us today. I’m up enough. I am a computer science undergraduate. I did my bachelor’s in computer science along with a minor in finance so my interests have been in the blockchain space for quite some time. I did a few projects in my undergraduate study and then I did a thesis and blockchain as well where I focused on Collaborative Intrusion Detection Systems for IOT networks. like it sounds nerdy but it was a lot of fun definitely. So, that’s how I got into blockchain and research. I was more or less fascinated by the way distributed computers work and how distributed computation is being looked at especially from a research and implementation point of view. So, it got me into that and then slowly and gradually I came across like Woodstock. our co-founder is also from the same university. So, like it just happened to be that my interest in finance and my knowledge of blockchains combined together brought me into Woodstock and like that’s how my journey began. Something that most people don’t know about me is that I’m a teetotaler. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I guess that’s something that is unique about me. probably anything.
Jeffery: Well that’s a great start. And I love the background of the tech side. And it’s good that you’re what was the term called, where you don’t you don’t drink, you don’t smoke. Yeah, so it’s teetotaler. Yeah. I’m not even going to try to attempt the word but that sounds pretty amazing. So, I feel I won’t be able to say it correctly but I love that. So, that’s a really great initiative and certainly I want to dive more into the background that you both have because one of the things that’s a little bit different about what we’re doing today and we talked about this before is that the approach is that one you guys are coming two years out of school. And you’re diving into the finance space and what excited me when we first met and first chatted was that you guys had a lot of great knowledge and understanding of this whole new Web 3.0. And you guys are working inside of Woodstock. And just to share a little bit of detail on Woodstock, Woodstock is a venture capital firm. And you guys run and operate out of all of India. is that correct?
Abhinav: Yeah, India
Jeffery: Yes, that’s great. And when you guys started this or when it was started, you guys both came in from a research analyst perspective bringing your finance, your tech backgrounds which I think is phenomenal. But you’re also bringing something that you probably don’t see very often in a VC firm and that is the young understanding of the new world of tech. And this is what got me excited when we first started talking. This is something that I think a lot of VC firms may not have the knowledge or the background to because they’re not always hiring people that are right out of school, that are in the research side and utilizing them for their knowledge. But their inept ability to work inside of this new space. And it’s pretty exciting because you guys probably grew up and I call it, the “young tech recycling group” because when you guys were born, you were born into recycling and you’re born into tech. So, you’re born with a phone in your hand or an iPad and that’s pretty much all you’ve been using for the last 20 to 30 years and everything was about recycling. And now you guys are being able to utilize those skills. So, maybe what we can do is we can talk a little bit about understanding. And you mentioned this Neel when you first started in school, you had this excitement. you’re going into engineering. you got into the banking sector and then you’re like well this isn’t really doing it for me. it’s not really the tech that I was looking for and then boom you hit this Web 3.0. And now lives changed. Can you talk a little bit about what that emphasis is? What really makes a big difference in this journey that you’re on in life that really focused on getting into defy getting into this new tech? And why is this making things more exciting for you than your standard working at a bank nine to