Avantika Gupta has her eyes firmly set on the future; as a vice president of the investment team at Type One Ventures, Avantika works daily with innovative ideas and forward-focused founders and is optimistic that innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys to creating a better future for all humanity.

Type One Ventures is a Los Angeles and London-based venture capital firm that has a bold vision of the future with a focus on investment in innovation that will progress technological evolution and, in turn, enhance civilisation. It was the visions and values that underpin Type One Ventures that drew Avantika to the role. “The opportunity to work with founders that are forward-thinking, innovative, and focused on addressing complex global challenges is highly rewarding for me.”

Space technology, robotics, AI and automation, mobility, nanotechnology and human longevity are listed as key markets for progressing humanity by Type One Ventures. Avantika is particularly excited about space technology because it pushes the boundaries of innovation and has the potential to help solve problems not just in space but here on Earth too. “Space tech often has applications beyond space; for example, baby formula, camera phones and artificial limbs were all developed from NASA research,” Avantika explains.

Human longevity is another area that Avantika is excited about “Longevity research aims to not only prolong life but also enhance the quality of life.” With humans living longer than ever, there are many age-related degenerative diseases that come with that. Therefore, Avantika is a strong advocate for research and development in this area. “The research in this area could change the way healthcare is delivered and support longer healthier lives”.

As a graduate of Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland, Avantika participated in the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) award-winning Velocity programme as well as Chiasma (a student-led organization at the University of Auckland focused on the commercialisation of science and technology). She believes this involvement helped develop key networking and communication skills that have been crucial for her career success “It exposed me to a supportive and encouraging community with people who were willing to share their own stories and experiences”. Avantika recently paid it forward when she was invited to speak at the UK House of Commons at an event to discuss topics related to gender equality, professional growth, and overcoming challenges in the business landscape. Through sharing her own experience, Avantika hopes to help “pave the way for future generations of women leaders”.

Life-long learning underpins Avantika’s mindset and attitude “Continuous learning is crucial to success – embracing a mindset of continuous learning has allowed me to pursue personal and professional growth”. Avantika is also a strong advocate for students and graduates to make the most of their opportunities and build resilience by learning and growing from their mistakes. “The ability to adapt and bounce back from setbacks is very important to move forward in life.” Opportunities such as though provided by CIE provide a great opportunity to learn through experience and sometimes failure.

When asked what more educational institutes can do to help improve the future of civilisation, Avantika believes the focus should be on four key areas: sustainability, experiential learning, ethical leadership and a global mindset. “When we view Earth from space, there are no borders. We should work to reduce the perceived limitation of borders for those living on Earth”.

The future, according to Avantika, is looking bright. Through investment in technology and innovation, she believes we can make a huge positive impact. “Innovation drives progress and pushes the boundaries of what is possible. It fuels the development of new technologies, solutions, and ideas that can positively impact society.”