The Importance of a Large Venture Portfolio

What Sea Turtles Can Teach Us About Venture Capital Diversification

Sea Turtle swimming under water
Written by

Cainon Coates

Published on


1 min

Read a white paper from Managing Partner Cainon Coates to learn how a large, diversified portfolio can help mitigate risk while maximizing the potential for returns.

Baby sea turtles are born into a dangerous world. Each clutch of about a hundred eggs will endure a never-ending gauntlet of hungry birds, deadly waves, and deep-sea predators. The National Ocean Service estimates that as few as one in 10,000 baby turtles will survive to adulthood.

Like the sea turtle, startups face many obstacles to survive. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the survival rate for small businesses to be 80% after one year and roughly 50% after five years.

While the odds against sea turtles might seem insurmountable, the number of eggs they lay has decreased their risk of extinction and contributed to their proliferation over millions of years. This same principle can be applied to your strategy of venture capital diversification.

In his white paper How Many Eggs in a Venture Capitalist’s Dozen?, Alumni Ventures Managing Partner Cainon Coates explains how a large, diversified venture portfolio can help mitigate risk while maximizing the potential for returns.

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Cainon Coates, Managing Partner at Castor Ventures

Cainon has 10+ years’ experience in finance, venture capital, and entrepreneurship, having worked at Boston Consulting Group and PBM Capital Group as well as serving on the founding team of five startups. At BCG, he worked in their private equity practice to conduct due diligence across the semiconductor, transportation, and medical device industries. At PBM (a $500M healthcare-focused venture capital firm), he led investments and worked as an operating partner within portfolio companies (including Human Design Medical, Revive Pharmaceuticals, and Triangle Research Labs). Cainon is a co-founder and advisor of Viafy and was previously a co-founder and CEO of University Laundry (acquired by a national operator and now part of Proctor & Gamble’s marquee Tide brand). He has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a BS from the University of Virginia.

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