Backing engineers on a mission
[ modernizing the industrial base ]
Mark Scianna is the Managing Partner at Forward Deployed VC, supporting mission-driven engineers modernizing digital and physical infrastructure.
(picks & shovels)
As an operator, most of his experience was at Palantir, where he was a founding member of their defense team, spending 11 years as a forward deployed engineer. In that role, he deployed extensively with US and allied forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Horn of Africa, and beyond. When not deployed, he was responsible for development of Forward (basis for an 800M Army contract), Mobile (used by federal law enforcement), and Project Maven (advanced AI). Mark’s team not only developed life saving products, but also built an incredibly valuable business: revenue grew from zero to billions, and the company went public in 2020.
As a venture investor, he got started in 2010 by participating in Palantir’s Series D round, becoming the only employee to purchase preferred shares. In 2014 he began investing via Y Combinator Demo Days, and in 2018 completed their Startup Investor program.
Track record: 49 investments (2010-2021), 5.2x multiple, 43% IRR
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