Current City: Palo Alto, CA
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: MBA Candidate at Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Notable Prior Jobs:
Co-Founder & CEO at MVMENT
Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Antler VC
Violinist at Berliner Philharmoniker
Soloist on Chris Botti's international tours
When I Started Performing: I played my first concert at the University of Warsaw at the age of 7. At 8, I participated in my first national violin competition in Poland and won the 3rd prize. Reflecting on those early days, they were foundational experiences that shaped my musical career, which spanned around 20 years.
Performing Arts Background: My musical journey started when I was 6 years old in Warsaw, Poland, where I began my formal music education. At the age of 11, I was accepted into the Juilliard School's Pre-College program, studying under the guidance of world-renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman for 4 years. In 2018, I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Then, I was fortunate in my career as a concert violinist, getting the opportunity to play alongside some incredible musicians and orchestras. My experiences included performing with the Berliner Philharmoniker, where I had the honor of working under the guidance of esteemed conductors like Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, and Mariss Jansons. I also had the unique chance to blend classical and jazz music by touring internationally with Chris Botti, a Grammy award-winning trumpet player, and his jazz band.
Throughout my musical career, I was privileged to play for a diverse range of influential people, including artists like Sting, political figures such as Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President and First Lady of Poland, and other leaders from various countries. These experiences have been both humbling and enriching. Beyond the violin, my musical explorations included instruments like the harp, piano, and viola. I find joy in other pursuits as well, such as film acting and impressionistic painting. These experiences have not only shaped my career but also my perspective on art, entrepreneurship, and life.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship?
My journey in the performing arts has been a crucial catalyst in shaping my entrepreneurial path. This relationship began to unfold when my family moved to the U.S. for my education when I was 11 years old. Faced with the need to support ourselves, I turned to my skills in music. I started finding performance opportunities, which was my first real foray into entrepreneurship.
This experience taught me the importance of networking and building relationships, a skill that became invaluable in my later ventures. I also learned to be attuned to audience preferences, adapting my performances to meet their tastes, which is akin to understanding customer needs in business.
The defining values of a professional musician – grit and perseverance – seamlessly translated into my entrepreneurial journey. As a musician, I was accustomed to diligent, daily practice and constant learning. This mindset was pivotal when I pivoted into startup entrepreneurship, where hustle, continuous learning, and building a robust network are vital.
My creativity, honed through years of musical training, proved to be a significant asset in problem-solving. The creative process in music, which involves experimentation, improvisation, and expression, equipped me with a unique approach to tackling business challenges.
Lastly, my credibility in the music world played a substantial role in establishing myself in the startup/VC ecosystem. The reputation and relationships I built as a musician lent me a distinct identity and trustworthiness as a startup founder. This intersection of arts and entrepreneurship helped to set me apart. It also provided me with a unique perspective and approach to business, demonstrating the invaluable interplay between my performing arts background and my entrepreneurial ventures.
Favorite Performer: Itzhak Perlman - my violin idol and teacher since age 11
Follow this Performer:
Instagram – @aniafilochowska
LinkedIn – https://linkedin.com/in/aniaf