Modern Mantra is a venture design studio co-run by Nick Sarafa and Elijah Johnston.

With a combined 20 years of experience across product, design, and engineering leadership, our expertise lies in helping non-technical, early-stage founders to build and ship their first product.

We work with conscious founding teams that have deep subject matter expertise to create technology in service of awakening & healing.

Studio Highlights

Venture Design

We practice venture design - the creation of not just a technology product but the entire infrastructure around it: the systems, processes, and team to ensure you can build and grow the product in-house after our initial work together.

Talent Network

Over the years we’ve built a network of seasoned product and venture builders. When you collaborate with us, we hand pick a bespoke team from our network, optimized for the type of technology you want to build.

Singular Focus

We prioritize on-time and on-spec execution. To achieve this we only take on one major design initiative at a time, as this allows us to stay singularly focused vs having our energy split across multiple projects at once.
Nick Sarafa
's background

Nick Sarafa

Co-Founder & Tech Lead

I’m a creative technologist exploring the relationship between art, spirituality, and technology. I believe we are on the cusp of a new era where these three fields will converge and create powerful possibilities for humanity.

I started my journey in tech after my grandmother was killed in a texting-and-driving accident. I responded to the tragedy by transforming my emotions into Pause, an app that auto-responded to texts and calls while driving.

My technology journey since has taken me from undersea robots to HP’s executive fast-track path, to engineering ride share software, and eventually independent software development. After years of consulting, I became a CTO for YourSuper before becoming a founder. Modern Mantra is the culmination of the experiments in my tech journey.

When I'm not engineering software, I'm creating art composed of digital paintings, projection mapping, and experimental visualizations of sacred geometry which I share as light show installations at festivals, music circles, and spiritual gatherings.

I have a unique gift for finding exceptional people: creatives, technologists, and healers on a similar path of growth and awakening. I record and share conversations with some of them through the Modern Mantra podcast, and bring many of them together in the Lisbon New Tech meetup I organize.

I've been on a spiritual journey in parallel to my technology journey: plant medicines, visions, and energy work. Now I want to integrate spirituality into technology so we can all benefit from it.

Elijah Johnston
's background

Elijah Johnston

Co-Founder & Design Lead

I am a multidimensional product strategist, experience designer, and energy medicine practitioner on a path of sacred service.

My greatest inspiration comes from witnessing the beauty, intelligence, and interconnectedness that permeates all life forms on Earth.

Throughout a decade of digital venture building, I have lead all aspects of design, product management, and engineering. This experience allows me to closely collaborate with world-class talent and fluidly switch lenses from big picture macro to executional micro.

As a product leader, my greatest asset is my curiosity, knowing how and when to ask what questions to whom.

Second is my ability to process the information into insight and drive data-informed decisions.

This combination has allowed me to facilitate creative, effective, and innovative solutions across a range of geographies and scales.


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