Alex Fayette is a Partner at ACME. Alex focuses on emerging deep technology businesses. While he will selectively invest in other, less technical areas, he is currently most focused on opportunities across synthetic biology, intelligent automation, energy, raw materials, aerospace, and next-gen compute. Alex currently serves as a board observer for Akash, AviaGames, Boompop, Ever/Body, Invert Bio, Laurel, Petra, Quip, Replika, SoLo Funds, Xwing, and one investment yet-to-be-announced. He previously served as a board observer for PillPack, which was acquired in July 2018 by Amazon, Astra (NASDAQ: ASTR), IonQ (NYSE: IONQ). Prior to ACME, Alex was on the investment banking group at J.P. Morgan, initially on its insurance team in New York, and later on its Technology & Media team in San Francisco.
Alex received his B.A. from Yale University in Economics and is a former Yale Whiffenpoof. Alex lives in San Francisco.
Like most people, Alex can assign blame or praise to his upbringing for shaping who he is today. Did listening to Tom Lehrer music teach him math and science, or rather how to effectively poison pigeons in the park? Did watching IT at age 4 give him an appreciation for the finer points of horror film-making, or did it give him a healthy respect for clowns at a young age? The answer is undoubtedly “yes”. The consequence of such wordly exposure inevitably led to Alex’s analytical prowess, stoic demeanor, and an eye for detail. This was best exemplified when, at a young age, upon retiring on the eve of Easter, Alex re-emerged from his room to ask his parents how the Easter Bunny gets inside the house to leave an Easter basket full of cunicular (“rabbit-like” — Alex needed to look up this word…) candy. “Magic” was of course the required response that was promptly delivered. Back to bed Alex went, his parents comforted they had convinced the child’s curiosity. Alas, minutes later, Alex re-emerged yet again and posed a critical question, “Are you sure that’s safe?”
Aviation has been a big part of Alex’s life ever since he was old enough to reach the controls, flying with his Dad. He was lucky enough to get a license to fly gliders long before he was legal to drive, and was the only person to celebrate eventually turning 23 since it meant he was now legally old enough to fly for an airline. While some kids had autographs of sports stars, Alex was excited to get an autograph from his favorite aerospace engineer. He still has it to this day.
Alex tends to demand a pretty obscene amount of stimulation to stay happy. When he finds that stimulating thing though, down that cunicular (See! Now you know the word too) hole he goes. Cool song? He’ll listen to it on repeat for weeks. Cool broadway show? He definitely saw it 7 times. Amazing book? He immediately re-read it and forced 20 other friends to read it too! Cool cocktail recipe that takes 3 hours to make? Done.
While his mastery of cooking is limited to producing “slop” with admirable efficiency, Alex has focused his gastronomic efforts much more towards cocktails. Some of his favorite adventures include: homemade gin, homemade vermouth, spherifying cucumber juice into boba-like orbs for gin & tonics, smoking whisk(e)y cocktails with applewood, and trying (mostly in vain) to replicate the taste of bubble gum in a drink.
As a child, Alex wanted to be an “inventor” when he grew up, not realizing that that wasn’t, in fact, a job. Though his life drifted a bit from mad scientist dreams, he still keeps a list of fun science fiction plot ideas, technologies and “set pieces” to include in stories he’ll probably never write. Instead, he compensates by consuming massive amounts of SciFi books, movies, video games, and TV shows. And now, some important questions:
Does the totem fall at the end of Inception? — Feels like a quantum physics problem
Piccard or Kirk? — Really? Are you kidding?
You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise… — I’m definitely not dreaming of electric sheep
Riker with a beard or without a beard? — With
Red pill or blue bill? — Red pill. I want to see how deep the cunicular hole goes
When you think of Tasha Yar… — Alex’s first experience with the concept of “loss”
(How many syllables are supposed to be in each line, again?)
Don’t try this at home
Fermata Nowhere? Pitch Slapped? Compulsive Lyres? The Whiffenpoofs? If you groaned after reading those names, congratulations, you’re a normal human. If instead you thought, “gee whizz, I sure do love the thought of 8-part vocal harmony AND A BEATBOXER!” you are probably more like Alex. He was lucky enough to travel the world singing with the Whiffs in college (leading to many crazy stories), but music has always been a big part of his life. He plays ten instruments (two of which he taught himself!), and excels at exactly none of them (definitely made Mom proud, there)! Despite (un)illustrious early careers as a gymnast, a figure skater, and a fencer, it was ultimately musical theater that stole Alex’s attention. There, he learned the same critical life lessons earned by any lacrosse jock: there is no “I” in team, character matters, grit and determination are half the battle, and don’t try to do a pirouette in tap shoes while belting out a high G (you’ll be pitchy).