Dhruv Bansal

As a kid I dreamed of being an astronaut. Moonshot missions still appeal to me.

With parents who came to America from India and built a company together from scratch. Dhruv has entrepreneurship and partnership in his DNA. Literally.

Shoot For The Moon

I was incredibly curious, optimistic and had big dreams. I wanted to be an astronaut—I drew space shuttle diagrams, bought a telescope, the works. I even explored eating astronaut food. But turns out astronauts need 20/20 vision.

In my DNA

My parents came to America from India as students and built a company together from scratch. They taught me the importance of teamwork and the how thoughtful risk can lead to big rewards.

I feel like it’s what I was born to do – to collaborate with entrepreneurs who are, each in their own way, on a moonshot mission.

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Obligatory childhood question: describe yourself at, say, age 10.

I was incredibly curious, optimistic and had big dreams. I wanted to be an astronaut—I drew space shuttle diagrams, bought a telescope, the works. I even explored eating astronaut food. But turns out astronauts need 20/20 vision… so I turned to the next best thing (and one step closer to earth): meteorology. The National Hurricane Center is still a favorite site.

How was your world view shaped by your family?

My parents came to America from India as students and built a company together from scratch. A real partnership. They defined roles according to their individual strengths to support each other and build a successful firm. We’re super close. They taught me the importance of teamwork and the how thoughtful risk can lead to big rewards. They were all about collaborative success – working together to create something great.

Sounds like the perfect foundation for your work.

It really was! Plus, I went to a science and tech high school and then studied technology and its intersections in college. This fundamentally shaped my way of thinking, It gave me a strong quantitative orientation and comfort with technology. It showed me that all tech-enabled solutions require a deep understanding of the qualitative. This is a passion I share with my Catalyst team as we look at the exciting intersection of consumer behavior and technology.

What about the Catalyst team in particular appealed to you?

The founding team came together from different backgrounds through a shared belief that consumer and enterprise ecosystems are fundamentally changing in ways that require a new type of investor. Each brought their own set of experiences and perspectives with the goal of making Catalyst an unbeatable partner to any founder looking to scale an impactful business in the space. This mission and my passions are so perfectly aligned.

Working with entrepreneurs must fuel that passion.

It really does. Their focused ambition is such a clarifying mandate. Still, every founder approaches their challenge differently. Focusing on the fundamentals while embracing the diversity of approaches and personalities is really exciting. They all seem to share a propensity for collaboration and patient optimism.

Sounds like your family background prepared you well for this.

Yeah, I feel like it’s what I was born to do – to collaborate with entrepreneurs who are, each in their own way, on a moonshot mission.

Ah.. once again feeding your inner astronaut.

As long as I can wear my glasses.

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