Neil Chheda

Co-founder and General Partner

Neil is an entrepreneur-turned-investor. After founding and building several businesses without raising traditional venture capital, he was inspired to build the kind of firm he would have wanted to partner with—one that would help build companies, rather than just place bets on them, with the voice of an experienced entrepreneur. Neil has focused on making this vision a reality as a cofounder of Romulus Capital.

At Romulus, Neil leads investments in technology-enabled companies across sectors and stages. He focuses on helping founders work through critical company-building tasks, including attracting great talent, designing and building great products, acquiring first customers, and raising capital for continued growth. Companies Neil has founded or in which he has invested at the seed stage have raised over $1 billion of capital, generate over $1 billion in revenues annually, employ thousands around the world, and are packed with innumerable war stories. He aims to bring the best of this experience to every founder he backs.

Prior to Romulus, Neil advised some of the world’s largest healthcare and financial institutions at McKinsey & Company, built products that have since reached hundreds of millions of users at Zynga, founded and successfully sold a healthcare technology and services business, and established an investment firm focused on acquiring and growing B2B businesses in traditional industries.

When he’s not with entrepreneurs, keeping Neil on the ground is a challenge—he is an avid scuba diver and pilot. Neil received an A.B. in Political Science from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Prapti, live in downtown Boston.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Do or do not. There is no try.

What would you tell an aspiring entrepreneur?

Only [start your company] if you really love solving the problem you’re solving. Even the most successful ventures have had bad days along the way. On those days, you’ll be tired, making less money, accepting more risk, sacrificing a lot, and hitting roadblocks—all while easier professional paths are available to you. You may feel the rational option is to quit. In those moments, however, an intense—and perhaps irrational—passion for what you’re building and who you’re building it with will keep you going. That perseverance matters most.

What inspires you?

A daily reminder that life is short. Most people whom I respect and who have lived a full life reflect that they wish they had taken more risks, pursued their ambitions earlier, followed their instincts, and been less discouraged by failures. If you’re lucky enough to discover someone or something that really matters to you, brazenly pursue it today. This reminder inspires me daily to be more action-focused and fearless.