- The Swimnerd Newsletter
- From Olympic Medalist to Navy SEAL to Venture Capitalist
From Olympic Medalist to Navy SEAL to Venture Capitalist
An Inside look into Larsen Jensen's incredible career path.
#359 Larsen Jensen: From Olympic Medalist to Navy SEAL to Venture Capitalist
Today Brett sits down with Olympic medalist and former Navy SEAL Larsen Jensen for a fascinating conversation. Larsen shares insights into his diverse career journey that has included success as an Olympic distance swimmer, serving as a Navy SEAL, and now as a venture capitalist in charge of a $125,000,000 fund.
The interview begins with Larsen recounting his early swimming career, including competing against Australian legend Grant Hackett. He describes qualifying for his first US national team and competing in the Olympics. Larsen also opens up about the rigors of training for Bill Rose/Mark Schubert/Dave Salo and moments where he pushed through barriers he didn't think were possible.
When asked about his transition to the Navy SEALs, Larsen explains that he was drawn to testing himself in an environment with even higher stakes than competitive swimming. He gives listeners a glimpse into what SEAL training and what BUD/S entails, especially the infamous Hell Week. Larsen also reflects on deploying with SEAL Team 5 and some of the lessons from that experience.
By the time he had served several years in the SEALs, Larsen was at another crossroads in his career. He decided to get an MBA from Stanford to help transition to new challenges. This ultimately led him to co-found the venture capital firm Harpoon Ventures. Larsen provides insights into evaluating investment opportunities and startups through the lens of his unique background.
Overall, the interview gives a fascinating look into Larsen diverse accomplishments and how each step built upon the last. Listeners learn about the challenges of different elite careers and got an inside view of Larsen’s incredible journey. It was an engaging conversation that highlights his versatility and drive to continuously challenge himself.
Listen on Apple Podcasts here.
Watch on YouTube here.
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00:00 Swimming origins and career paths.
04:32 Swimming competitions and personal experiences
07:46 Olympic experiences and transitioning to Navy SEAL training
13:20 Swimming, aging, and career choices
15:25 Navy SEAL training and Olympic swimming
21:11 Athletic background and Navy SEAL training
24:40 Swimming training and BUDS program
29:40 Navy SEAL training and selection
35:49 Military service, personal growth, and family life
40:21 Entrepreneurship & venture capital
46:22 Risk-taking in entrepreneurship and investing
51:10 Entrepreneurship, venture capital, and military experience
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