Shrina Kurani is Vice President of Business at Republic, a platform democratizing investing and leveling out the fundraising landscape for founders and investors. Previously an investor at Better Ventures, she loves to help companies pursuing better social and environmental outcomes get funded. In a nutshell, she’s focused on technology that works for people – and the planet. Here’s a look at how she spends her average day.
6:30 AM-7:30 AM
I’m a pretty early riser, especially this time of year when the sun is an early riser, too. I don’t set an alarm; I wake up with the sun. The first thing I do when I wake up is some quick morning yoga. The stretching is anywhere between 5-20 minutes and a mish-mash of Yoga with Adriene and a few movements I learned from an ashram in Bombay. I go on a run to Baker Beach at least once a week – my route is entering the beach on 25th Ave, running across the beach and up the Sand Ladder, and then to the Battery overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s such a wonderful way to remember where I am, restore my sense of place, and wake up my body. When I don’t get a chance to go on a run, I’ll do a Nike Training App work out – one of my favorites is Engine Fire. Or, head to the local Y for a Spin or Body Pump class if I’m not cycling to work. After a quick morning workout, I’ll hop in the shower.
7:30 AM-8:30 AM
I live with my brother, and we’re both early risers. We try to make a quick breakfast together with a preference of scrambled or sunny side up eggs on a slice of densely packed rye bread and a vegan spread. As you can tell, we both love to cook! And if my fiance’s around, he’ll normally grind up coffee beans and have a cup of joe. I do not do well with caffeine. It makes me a little crazy, so I tend to have a sip of the coffee “just to try” and love to drink just hot water in the morning instead.
My brother and I often do a morning brainstorm about a new business idea. In my room, there’s a giant whiteboard against the wall that we use to facilitate. Although with 2020 rapidly approaching the topic has evolved to how/when we should run for office or how to transform the political stage to reach, engage and represent people.
8:30 AM-9:00 AM
I’m normally out the door by 8:30 am, and when it’s grey and cold out, I take an express bus downtown on a 30 minute-or-so commute. If the weather conditions are good, I’ll hop on my bike which takes around 35-40 minutes. If I’m on my bike, I’m painfully aware of how exposed I am on my bicycle. Therefore, really paranoid about being aware of my surroundings, which means no music, headphones, no other distractions besides who and what is joining me on the road. My ride includes Golden Gate Park, so it’s a beautiful way to start the day!
If I’m on the bus, I’m trying to get better at not immediately hopping on Slack or email on the commute, and when I can resist the pressure for 30 minutes, I’ll switch on a podcast or read. Currently, I am a big ran of Radio Lab. I used to read on my Kindle exclusively but recently got my hands on a physical book, Winner Take All by Anand Giridaradas. It’s a powerful critique of the neoliberal paradigm we live and operate in and helps me reframe conversations about how we can truly build a more inclusive society.
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
I have a powered standing desk at work, and I like that once I start my day standing, I tend to spend my day standing. I try to keep my mornings free from meetings and spend the time prioritizing & developing a strategy around what needs to be done that day. Republic is in the operation of changing the mindset of the consumer, and how people view and participate in the private institutions around them. Not to mention the fact that there are strict regulatory considerations. I’m constantly mulling over how we can make our platform more inclusive, break down stereotypes of what an investor and an entrepreneur look like, and help people buy-in. Therefore, have a say in what the world around them looks like. I’m leading our tokenization initiative which is just as much a technical project as it is an education initiative – add crypto to financial literacy and private investing, and you’ve got a complex product on your hands. I’m a big fan of whiteboarding, and I am warming up to a tool I didn’t use before Republic called Notion. It is similar to the Google Suite except with the ability to link between Notion pages and create a directory of information. For task management, I use Trello to manage sprints and various tasks across teams. I’ll squeeze in an hour of cranking out emails during this time, but use Superhuman to triage and am an Inbox Zero-type. We have our all-hands team meetings on Fridays, and we order sandwiches from Homegrown. The avocado egg cheese sandwich with carrot habanero sauce is my absolute favorite – I’m a vegetarian for sustainability reasons, but I’ve heard the bacon one isn’t too bad either.
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
In our San Francisco office, we try to make team lunches as often as we can. On Tuesdays we’ve locked in Ferry Building restaurant with the farmers market -I’m a huge fan of the smoked cheese tamales. We’ll often have partners or other friends of Republic join us during lunch. We have a list of local restaurants on the wall in the office we want to try. Some of our favorites are Mendocino Farms, Local roots, and Gott’s. They are always on heavy rotation. When things get crazy, I often forget to eat lunch, so our team lunches are a great way to make sure we’re all eating!
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
The afternoons are stacked with meetings, and it is like that by design, as I try to keep my mornings more open. Also, we have a large team on the East Coast, so this is a good time for everyone to sync up. I try to keep our internal meetings to a minimum and focus on how to come up with new ideas and reflecting on what’s worked and hasn’t worked vs. just status updates on how things are going. I work with the assumption that if you say you’re going to do something, there’s no need to talk about it unless there’s a lesson to be learned or it didn’t work. And of course, to celebrate!!
3:00 PM- 6:00 PM
Once our NY team goes into networking mode and any cross-team meetings are over, I meet with startups, VC’s, and other partners who want to support our community. We’re always learning and exploring how we can push the envelope of what it means to be an investor, find new ways to increase financial literacy, and challenge the conception of what it takes to build a successful business. A big part of expanding our community is sharing what our vision is, and constantly tweaking and readjusting based on what we’re learning from the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. I especially love when someone’s eyes light up, and they see what the future could be if everyone were an investor. Many people say “not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur” – and I agree with that. But what a lot of people forget is that is everyone can and should be, an investor, and therefore be able to have a say in what the world around them looks like. I’m focused on building a strong ecosystem of VCs, startups, media, and just speaking with people who are interested in investing but feel left out.
Networking is such a massive part of the world of startups, so I usually have an event to attend around 2-3 nights per week. The events can vary, sometimes it a panel around an up and coming industry or an event we are hosting. There are always events with partners and VCs. We’re always on the lookout for a great company that could be a good fit for investment, particularly in the sweet spot of having just raised a seed round of capital and are looking for community engagement. The events are always pretty fun- I’ve been at the top of the World Trade Center in New York with Kairos, and had a “Sweatworking” which involved Soul Cycle before a typical happy hour and ended up meeting some people I’m so glad to call friends now! You often see the same people at events, so I’ve created a great community of badass investors and founders. I can go to whether it’s with questions or to grab dinner.
My nightly routine is pretty quick and concise. I have a small dinner, usually fruit or some yogurt and honey. I used to be a beekeeper, so I love local honey, especially from Heidrun Meadery in Point Reyes. I do a quick yoga loosen up, brush my teeth, wash my face, and go to bed! Sometimes I read before bed, but most of the time, I pass out and wake up eight hours later!
Want to learn more about Shrina? Follow her on Instagram @shrinana.