Sandeep Nailwal


I was turned down by every VC I pitched when I tried to raise Polygon’s first round. No one wanted to bet on a scrappy team of poor Indian founders. The experience humbled me, but I also promised myself that one day I would build a firm committed to betting on underdogs, a firm that would invest in companies based on merit, not connections or pedigree. I feel extremely fortunate to now be in a position to have founded Symbolic and fulfill that promise.

If there was one word to account for my success in life, it’d be grit. I knew early on that I would never be the smartest person in the room; I’d never be the best coder nor the most eloquent speaker. But I did know that I could outwork everyone around me. I learned the importance of hustle and grit growing up in a slum in India. I had to take care of my sisters and mom from an early age. The grit founders' need to succeed was instilled in me from an early age. When it came time to scale Polygon, I knew it’d take countless sleepless nights but that was easy compared to some of the things I endured growing up. 

So, when I sit down to learn more about your startup, don’t be surprised if this is the first question I ask you - do you have the grit needed to achieve your dreams?