Danielle Gorman is Platform Lead and an investor at Luma Launch, a venture capital firm investing in high impact early-stage startups, fostering community and strategic mentorship amongst founders. When she’s not discovering talented startups for Luma’s accelerator program, she’s running fund marketing and operations, or extending her marketing prowess to support Luma’s portfolio companies. We tagged along with Danielle on an average day on the job – learning about the workouts, coffee and meeting-friendly lunch spots she can’t live without.
6:30 AM – 7:30 AM
I try to get in a morning workout at the gym in my building about three to four times a week and save my weekends for group classes like dance and yoga. In the mornings that I go to the gym, I wake up around 6:30 am. I usually do a high-intensity workout on the elliptical for 30 minutes, an arm workout with weights, then rotate between a few of the abs and leg machines. On weekends, I take advantage of my ClassPass membership and my favorite studios – Knockout LA in Playa Del Rey, where I do the 3XT dance class (it makes you feel like Beyonce), Sweat Yoga and YogaWorks.
7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Once back from the gym, I take a quick shower and watch a few segments from Cheddar on my phone while I get ready. I’m admittedly a beauty junkie and always make time to fit in my Jan Marini multi-step cleansing and moisturizing process in the morning. If I have time, I’ll eat a quick breakfast at home – typically something like yogurt with fruit or instant oats. I try to get out the door by 8:30 am. In the car, I rotate between music, podcasts and audiobooks during my 25-ish minute commute. Right now, I’m listening to “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Hararion on audio. It’s a long tale of human history, but actually very soothing to listen to in the morning because of how deep the storytelling goes. When it comes to music, I’m in a ‘70s phase right now – probably because of the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” – so I listen to a ton of playlists from this era in the car.
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
When I have breakfast or coffee meetings scheduled in the morning, some of my favorite places to have them are Zinque in Venice or Little Ruby in Santa Monica. If I don’t have any planned, I head to the office and catch up on emails before my back-to-back meetings start. After scanning emails and replying to anything urgent, I look at the top stories on the Wall Street Journal and read a few newsletters. The ones that I’m loving right now are The Hustle, Newsette and StrictlyVC.
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
My meetings tend to start at around 10:00 am. This includes company pitches or vetting partners that want to work with our startups, as well as VC chats. When it gets warmer out (I know I live in LA, but it was a rainy and chilly winter!), I’d love to start doing more beach walk and talks rather than sit-down meetings. Our office is only two blocks from the beach.
Otherwise, meetings usually take place at the office, a coffee shop or a restaurant. Our office has a prime location in Santa Monica, so there’s plenty of places to choose from. I’ll usually do coffee at Philz, Espresso Cielo or Demitasse. For lunch, some of my top picks are Kazu Nori, True Food Kitchen and Flower Child. Once in a while, I’ll allow myself to have ramen at Ippudo since our office is upstairs.
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
After lunch, I nearly always have more meetings along with calls and emails in store. If we’re in diligence on a deal, this is the time block when I’ll do company and industry research, as well as customer calls. What I love most about being in VC is that I’m constantly learning about new industries and innovations through this research. We’re currently looking at a deal that’s trying to improve advertising technology and distribution for the
podcast space. It’s an industry that I’m excited to dig in to because of my advertising and marketing background.
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
VC is a very network-heavy industry, so there are at least three events in any given week. I try to leave most weeknights open for these since it is incredibly important to grow your network. The events are usually either happy hours or dinners, but I love when funds do out of the box activities instead. One memorable event was when Greycroft and Lerer Hippeau rented out Two Bit Circus, which is a new age circus and amusement park in Downtown LA.
I also put on a good amount of events myself and try to utilize our office whenever possible because we have beautiful open loft space. I host a quarterly female founders dinner at our office with a different VC and founder highlighted each time. Most recently, I hosted one with Crosscut featuring Lizanne Falsetto, the founder of thinkThin. We had over 30 founders in the health and wellness space in attendance and it was a truly inspirational and collaborative night. I put on other fun events for the VC community as well, including our annual ping pong tournament. It gets really competitive – we do a whole bracket and give out a trophy and prizes. For our founders, we recently hosted a cooking class where we learned how to make fresh pizza. Working in VC, you begin to see the same people at events time and time again, so it becomes a really fun community. I’ve made some great friendships.
9:00 PM – 10:30 PM
I strive to get home by 8:30 or 9:00 pm and wind down – either by watching a TV show or cooking dinner with my husband if we haven’t eaten yet. We just finished “Man in the High Castle,” and had been trying out new shows to fill our time before “Game of Thrones” started! I also read before I go to bed which helps me fall asleep a lot quicker. I prefer to alternate between business books and fiction. I recently finished “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou which was fascinating and quite relevant for the VC industry. On the fiction side, I’m very into the Hello Sunshine book club and am finishing up “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng.
I like to be in bed by 10:30 pm because I need my seven or eight hours of sleep! I’ve recently gotten into meditation and, if I’m having a restless night, I will listen to a sleep meditation or sleep story using the Calm app.