Skaneateles Country Club, Upstate New York
Pia Sawhney
Aug 11, 2018 · 3 min read

Reflections from Skaneateles, New York

Revisiting the Legacy of French-American VC Georges Doriot

On June 12, 2018, Armory Square Ventures (ASV), our early-stage, institutional venture capital fund, held its fourth annual meeting at the Skaneateles Country Club. Where is Skaneateles, you might ask? It’s in Upstate New York on Skaneateles Lake, a 15-mile long stretch of water known for being one of the most pristine in the country. The town is a half-hour drive from downtown Syracuse, and Armory Square, where ASV’s Upstate New York office is based.

Left: Skaneateles Lake, Upstate New York; Right: Somak Chattopadhyay, Managing Partner, Armory Square Ventures, explains the rapid, promising rise of startup ecosystems across the country.
Left: Spencer Ante, journalist and author of the book “Creative Capital” on venture capitalist Georges Doriot’s life and legacy; Right: John Cococcia, Venture Partner, Armory Square Ventures, discusses the firm’s portfolio of eight startups, split evenly between the Upstate and Downstate New York regions.
Krystle Mobayeni, CEO of ASV portfolio company, Bentobox
Spencer Ante and Sree Sreenivasan
Neenah Jain, CFO, Armory Square Ventures

As part of our meeting, we highlighted the evolution of our VC fund and three of our portfolio companies — and their early successes. We also heard from Spencer Ante and Sree Sreenivasan, two venerated reporters, to better understand ARD (American Research and Development), another early-stage venture fund that pioneered innovations which shaped the industry indelibly. The man, Georges Doriot, a popular Harvard Business School professor and engineer who conceived it in 1946, remains under-appreciated in good measure.

Doriot’s experience reflects how some of the greatest returns to investors and our society often emerge from early stage investments. His principles on cultivating entrepreneurs to grow new companies have influenced our own investment practices across New York State and other emerging startup hubs. Over the coming weeks, we will share more of our insights—so stay tuned.

In the interim, we hope you enjoy the remaining days of summer. As Doriot might have said, do not forget your sunscreen. (He developed and launched the product during his service as General in the US Army during WWII).

Until then, all the very best from the ASV team.

Also, follow us at @armorysv and #goodlifeupstate and watch the first of a few clips we taped that day.

The Doriot Download: Somak (@somak), managing partner at Armory Square Ventures, introduces Spencer Ante (@Spencerante) and Sree Sreenivasan (@sree). They spoke about the work and career of Georges Doriot and the very first venture capital he founded — called American Research and Development. Doriot’s students, as well as the entrepreneurs he supported, encouraged and cultivated, were captivated by his creativity and astute command of technology and business.

Pia Sawhney

Written by

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

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