Top New York Based Venture Capitalists You Should Know

by / ⠀Startup Advice / April 18, 2012


Chris Dixon, Founder Collective

The Co-founder of Site Advisor (acquired by McAfee) and Hunch (acquired by eBay) is quickly showing New York what our tech scene needs: successes.  While we don’t have an east coast Paypal who’s founders have spun off organizations like Founders Fund, Linkedin, Tesla and SpaceX, we do have Chris Dixon.  This Techcrunch contributor has invested his own money and Founder Collective’s, in companies like Skype, Invite Media, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, SeatGeek, Posterous and  Dixon blogs at and is active with his Twitter followers.

Roger Ehrenberg, IA Ventures

Short for Information Arbitrage, IA has a focus on digital media and fintech.  Roger is personally an angel investor in 40 early stage companies and has served on the boards of Buddy Media, Invite Media (sold to Google), MyTrade (Sold to TD Ameritrade), Stocktwits, Tweetdeck and The Ladders.  Roger leverages his experience and network on Wall Street, where he was formerly President of Deutsche Bank’s internal hedge fund.  IA Ventures portfolio includes BankSimple, Yipit, MyCityWay, and Business Insider.  Read more on the Information Arbitrage Blog and follow @infoarbitrage on Twitter.

David Pakman, Venrock

As New York as it comes, the name Venrock is a compound of “venture” and “Rockefeller”.  Since 1969 the firm has invested in companies like Intel, DoubleClick and Apple.  Pakman tips the scales with over 250,000 Twitter followers and sits on the board of one of the most promising New York based startups, Smartling.

Stuart Ellman and Jim Robinson IV, RRE Ventures

This duo has invested over a billion dollars in 125 companies since 1994 and most recently invested in Business Insider, Brooklyn’s MakerBot, GetGlue, SideTour and Buzzfeed.  Their 2011 investments ranged from $24million into Techstars to smaller seed rounds between $600k and $1.5million.    From Ellman’s Twitter account @bikenyc we can learn what he teaches at Columbia and that he loves New York Knick Jeremy Lin.

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Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures

One of the highest profile venture capitalists in the world, Fred Wilson’s blog at is insanely popular.  Wilson’s bi-coastal investments include Twitter, Zynga, Tumblr, Foursquare,, Codecademy, Kickstarter, and Stack Exchange.  While the name Union Square Ventures could be attributed to either New York or San Francisco, we know Fred’s heart lies in NYC.  Over 200,000 people follow Fred on Twitter, so you know he’s creating value.

Josh Kusher, Thrive Capital

The son of real estate mogul Charles Kushner and brother of Jared Kushner (married to Ivanka Trump), this family has serious influence, on top of owning The New York Observer.  Kushner is an entrepreneur himself, starting the 600 employee company Vostu, Brazil’s largest online gaming company in his junior year at Harvard. Thrive Capital recently raised $40million and has investment from billionaire Paypal Founder Peter Thiel. Their NYC investments headline with Kickstarter,, Codecademy, Warby Parker, and Onswipe.  Their portfolio company GroupMe was acquired by Skype for $85 million after being in business for only 370 days.

Eric Hippeu, Lerer Ventures

Hippeau was the first institutional investor in Arianna Huffington and Ken Lerer’s Huffington Post when he was with Softbank Capital.  Hippeau went on to become CEO until HuffPo’s acquisition by AOL in March 2011.  Hippeau has now joined Lerer Ventures and has served on the board of Yahoo!, Starwood Hotels, CNET, Geocities, Buddy Media and Buzzfeed.  If you want some great tweets when it comes to media companies follow @erichippeau.

Ken and Ben Lerer

This father-son combination are the founders of Huffington Post and Thrillist respectively.  This seed stage VC firm has $33million under management and have investment by Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, Eric Hippeau, Ariana Huffington, and SoftBank Capital partner Mike Perlis.  Ken is also chairman of Betaworks, Buzzfeed and Bedrocket, while Ben can be found on our Most Influential Entrepreneurs Under 30 list. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenJLerer.

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Howard Morgan, First Round Capital

Partners with founder Josh Kopelman, the company has backed over 70 startups.  Morgan is consistently ranked as one of the most well respected VC’s in the world and has sat on over 30 different boards of companies including Single Platform, Sticky Bits, the New York Angels, and Pandora. First Round has also participated in angel rounds for Path, GroupMe, and Kevin Rose’s Milk.  Check out where Howard checks in on Foursquare via Twitter @HLMorgan.

Danny Schultz and Ross Goldstein, DFJ Gotham

The firm founded with Timothy Draper can be seen visibly through their sponsorship of the New York Tech Meetup.  DFJ’s investments include Sailthru, SinglePlatform, Yipit,, and ContextWeb.  Although DFJ is a New York investment fund, they are part of a global network with over $6billion in assets under management and over 135 investment professionals.

Alan Patricof, Greycroft Partners

Patricof built one of the world’s largest private equity firms with over $35billion in management.  His leadership has been felt in companies such as AOL, Office Depot, and Apple, was the founder of New York Magazine and has acquired the Village Voice and Details Magazine.  Greycroft’s headline investments have included Huffington Post and Buddy Media. @alanjpatricof can be seen on Twitter rooting on the DUMBO tech scene and talking about Instagram’s acquisition.

Larry Lenihan, FirstMark Capital

This founder of FirstMark Capital not only practices LEAN methodologies, but preaches them too as a professor at the Stern School of Business at NYU.  FirstMark’s lineup of investments include Pinterest, Lot18, Clickable, Shopify, and Knewton.  Leninhan’s Twitter bio has the mantra: “Read, FIRE, aim!” @LawrenceLenihan.

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Other major venture capital players in New York include:

Mike Duda and NBA star Steve Nash–Consigliere Brand Capital
Maria Gotsch–New York City Investment Fund
Matt McCooe–Chart Venture Partners
Bob Greene–Contour Venture Partners
David Hirsch and Lewis Gersh–Metamorphic
Owen Davis–NYCSeed
David Anthony–21 Ventures
Miles Spencer–Vaux les Ventures
Jay Levy and Lary Scheinfeld–Zelkova Ventures
Bo Peabody and Matt Harris— Village Ventures
Steve Brotman–Silicon Alley Venture Partners
Brian Hirsch–Tribeca Venture Partners

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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