Armory Square Ventures and the Evolution of Tech and Venture Capital

Pia Sawhney
(Above) Slides from a talk ASV hosted on America’s first VC, French immigrant Georges Doriot. Doriot’s father, Auguste, was an inventor of the early automobile and Doriot directed his early passion for cars toward venture investing at-large in the Boston area after he moved to America. Spencer Ante, who wrote a biography on Doriot, spoke with Sree Sreenivasan at our talk last summer, highlighting his maxims for innovation. See our notes from it here. Today, one of ASV’s portfolio companies, Buffalo-based ACV Auctions, has reinvented how cars (which Doriot adored + which remain one of America’s most ingenious, beloved emblems of progress) are traded and sold, between dealers, online. (Below) Scenes from Skaneateles, NY on November 6, 2018.

Reflections from Skaneateles, New York

Entrepreneurship and America

What makes an entrepreneur great? Is it her grit, salesmanship, passion, brilliance? Today, (after I voted) I began to consider that question, much the way De Tocqueville did when he observed Americans (and our democracy) after arriving here in 1831. (He stayed until 1835.)

Fact is, being an American entrepreneur has never really been about the passport. It has mostly been about the idea — that ineffable thing that drives us, yes, inspires us (for lack of a better word) to fiercely imagine how things ought to be and the lengths one ought to go to, to realize them.

Our portfolio companies (in Upstate New York and New York City) ardently collaborate with partners in El Salvador, recruit employees from across southern Canada and San Francisco, and operate flexibly to consider expanding nationwide — but also, globally, in places where tech like ours may still be evolving or in its infancy.

If you’re reading this, thanks for thinking of us. ASV is at your service.

Now, go vote!

Pia Sawhney

Written by

Director of Strategy, AS Ventures ( I'm also a reporter, scientist, filmmaker + evangelist for the Finger Lakes, in Upstate NY.

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