Cosmin Panait is an investment fund manager in New York who has funded a number of private and public companies. His expertise runs the gamut across a variety of industries, including tech, biotechnology, and consumer packaged goods.
Cosmin Panait is currently self-employed at the investment firm he founded. At this family office, he is responsible for researching, assessing, and analyzing different financial opportunities and potential partnerships. He relies on his background in capital markets, corporate finance, and mergers & acquisitions to help him make strong decisions that propel the firm’s portfolio forward. His investments include both domestic and international companies looking to gain more traction in the capital markets. Panait started his career at MD Global Partners in New York.
Cosmin was largely focused on PIPEs, debt restructurings, equity facilities, and mergers & acquisitions. Panait identified small to mid-market companies who were in need of capital and successfully managed relationships during every phase of the project. He learned how to work with attorneys, hedge fund managers, and senior management teams. His time in this role helped him understand the specific challenges of different types of investment and why some deals succeed where others fail.
After finding success in investment banking, he would also work for Paltalk, a video-based social media startup that made it possible for the public to find communities of like-minded individuals based on their interests and hobbies. In this role, Panait helped develop a revenue growth strategy that would help the company connect users with the right virtual environments and increase company ROI.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I was always passionate about learning how different businesses work, even from a very young age. After working in investment banking and capital markets for several years, I decided to take a chance to pursue that passion and start my own venture capital / private equity firm. I now get to invest in and learn about companies across so many different industries.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
In the morning, I check any messages I may have gotten overnight and our investment portfolios before my daughter wakes up. I then spend the rest of the early morning with her and wife and take our two dogs for a walk. This is a great time to dedicate to my family and also clear my mind going into the workday. The rest of the morning and afternoon are less structured, depending on what needs to get done to that day, but I always try to prioritize a few things to work on earlier in the day before things start piling on.
How do you bring ideas to life?
By starting to work on them. So many ideas go to waste just because inaction is our biggest enemy.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Totally not business-related, but the increase in the awareness of animal rights and welfare in this country and worldwide. I am a big animal lover and am very glad to see so much of the world being more humane and some countries even recognizing animals as sentient beings.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Taking the time to understand how things work on a very granular level. If you understand how the machine works, you can fix it or build one from scratch.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be careful who you trust. Not everyone has good intentions, which is easy to not realize, especially at a young age.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
COVID-19 is not a flu.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Think about the vision and mission of the company to make sure we’re still on track.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Treat people right and allow them to do what they love. Having a tight-knit workplace where everyone works well together towards the same goal by doing what they love and are best at has definitely been our recipe for success.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Everything is people and relationships. A failure was doing business with the wrong people, whether they have the wrong intentions or are just not professional enough or the right fit.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Uber for medication. So many ill people would benefit from having their prescriptions delivered to them on demand. The technology to support it, consumer social habits around delivery, and laws allowing for it are already in place, and someone just needs to execute it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A membership to the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Being able to show our daughter so many wonders of nature in one place and seeing her joy in discovering new things has been invaluable to me.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The Google Workspace suite of products. It allows the entire team to collaborate on all sorts of projects in real-time, which is especially useful during the pandemic.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool for Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future by Cameron Herold.
What is your favorite quote?
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” -Albert Einstein
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.