PT383 – Identity, Rage, Culture, and Venture Capital

January 24, 2023
Featuring: Raad Seraj

In this episode, David interviews Raad Seraj: host of Minority Trip Report, a podcast for underrepresented views in psychedelics and mental health, and founder of Mission Club, an education and investment platform.

Subscribe Share

In this episode, David interviews Raad Seraj: host of Minority Trip Report, a podcast for underrepresented views in psychedelics and mental health, and founder of Mission Club, an education and investment platform.

Seraj tells his story of growing up in Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and eventually finding himself in Canada, and how the discomfort and rage he felt as a result of class and xenophobia affected him. He talks about the idea behind his podcast, Minority Trip Report, and how, while they need to be heard, underrepresented and BIPOC voices aren’t a monolith. And he talks about the incestuous and gatekeeping nature of venture capital and the complications of actually turning investments into lasting business. With Mission club (which is partnering with Microdose), he aims to create opportunities for people who don’t have a ton of money to invest in early stage companies in this space, to help the dreamers who don’t necessarily fit the bill for traditional VC.

And he discusses much more: David Chalmers’ theory of “The Extended Mind”; the problems with having one idea of mental health and summarizing complicated minds into little boxes; how we are made up of different selves and how psychedelics can help us to acknowledge and integrate our minority selves; the differences between anger and rage and how 5-MeO-DMT helped him shed his rage; how we can use technology, culture, and capital together to amplify what exists and build what doesn’t; the three places that have transformed him the most; and initiating a bus-wide Cyndi Lauper sing-along while on tour with Finger Eleven as a host for Much Music.

Notable Quotes

“If you talk about mental health and healing: all healing is the reintegration of the narrative landscape – the autobiographical story. But the problem is; when you only have one type of story, one type of autobiographical narrative that gets to be heard, that gets to be embedded, that gets to be shared, that gets to go viral; and from that, you build courses and infrastructure and definitions of what mental health is and then you sort of impose it on the rest of the world – that is a problem because mental health is ultimately about being a human being, and we are multipolar beings and we are forced to be summarized in very small ways, whether by society or by systems.”

“You have a part that is elevated above the body and the mind and the consciousness, and seeing and observing yourself and your truest nature and your truest needs and wants and desires and so on, and I think with people who are on the margins (again, whether you’re Jewish, whether you’re bisexual, whether you’re a person of color, whether you’re an immigrant, or whatever), the parts that you suppress the most all of a sudden find light. They can be seen; that’s where the light gets in. And then that temporary visibility of all of a sudden seeing that part of you without judgment, and being almost agnostic to those parts, is powerful.”

“I recognized very early on [that] there was class. Race came after. Race is a 400-year-old concept. Class is a permanent part of any human society, but class is so much more insidious. We don’t talk about it.”

“At the surface of everything, whether it’s culture, politics, music, tech: it’s all bullshit. There’s a thin sheen of garbage. You have to dig a little deeper to find the true stuff.”


Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are, by James Fadiman, Ph.D., & Jordan Gruber, J.D. Toronto Named The Most Diverse City In The World By BBC Radio

Wikipedia: Much (TV channel)

YouTube: Finger Eleven – Paralyzer

YouTube: Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time

Wikipedia: Extended mind thesis Black women lead in starting businesses, but struggle to get funding

The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future, by Sebastian Mallaby

Psychedelics Today: PT376 – Ketamine and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy as Employee Benefits, featuring Sherry Rais Psychedelics Today Re-Launches Vital Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Fund to Support Student Practitioners

Vital: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Tuition Scholarship Access Fund (Cortes Island)

Raad Seraj

In this Episode

Raad Seraj

Raad Seraj operates at the trifecta of capital, consciousness, and culture. Raad is the founder of Mission Club, an education and investment platform that is democratizing and mobilizing a global community of angel investors into the psychedelics ecosystem. Raad advises and mentors founders building new psychedelic and mental health companies. Raad is also the founder of Minority Trip Report, a podcast for underrepresented views in psychedelics and mental health. By day, he leads growth at Affinity, a San Francisco-based startup building AI tools for venture capital. Before this, he spent more than a decade in climatetech and social impact, founding one of the world’s first technology accelerators for water, and creating a backpacking program that took sustainable fashion entrepreneurs from around the world to Bangladesh to learn about the fashion supply chain. As an artist and ardent advocate for underground culture, Raad founded Anda Residency, a nonprofit that occupied transient spaces all around Toronto and used immersive storytelling to explore complex urban issues like gentrification. Raad has a background in cancer research and was once a host for MuchMusic.

Socials: Instagram / Twitter
Minority Trip socials: Instagram / Twitter