Today marks a very exciting milestone for me as I start a new journey at FirstMark Capital, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to join Rick, Amish, Beth, Matt and the entire FirstMark family. Their reputation speaks for itself, not only as early investors in some of the most transformational companies of the last decade (and the returns that come with it), but most notably as true partners to the entrepreneurs leading those companies. That sentiment was clear in my conversations across their portfolio and was also reinforced as I’ve gotten to know the team over these last few months. Ultimately, the venture business all comes down people, and the team at FirstMark is the group I want to come to work with everyday to help advance the meaningful companies of the next decade.
In addition to a truly unique and world class team, FirstMark also differentiates itself in the investment it has made in its Platform to create company-defining moments for its portfolio. The FirstMark Platform runs over 100+ events per year that touch tens of thousands of people annually. They’ve built out practices focused on talent and customer development, powered by software that industrializes their ability to make timely connections and key relationships. All the more remarkable is the depth of the roadmap they are executing against, and I know Platform will be a key ingredient in FirstMark’s success in the years to come.
This is also a watershed moment in my life as it marks a return to my native New York. I withstood 9 years of familial guilt trying to pull me back East because I was so attracted to the innovation and energy of the Bay Area and have loved living here — San Francisco will always feel like home. I’m so grateful for the incredible community of friends and colleagues I’ve built here, and for the opportunities it afforded to build and invest in category-defining companies. That said, during the past few years, I’ve invested in more and more amazing teams outside of the Bay Area (from Los Angeles to Toronto to Mexico City) which has shown me that incredible opportunities extend far beyond Silicon Valley. Similarly, my frequent trips back home to the East Coast allowed me the time to build a strong network of founders, operators and investors, and gave me a front row seat to New York’s dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem at a moment when I believe it has hit escape velocity. FirstMark’s Platform is already a core node of this ecosystem and we’re just getting started.
Since beginning my career in Venture, I’ve been most excited about investing in inspiring founders that are applying technology and innovative business models to massive industries that have been historically underpenetrated and underserved by technology (for example Clearbanc in finance, WeeCare in education, Workstep in logistics among others). I can’t think of a better place than New York, the economic capital of the world, as a homebase to meet the next generation of founders tackling these problems and I can’t think of a better platform than FirstMark to partner with to help them reach their full potential. If you’re a founder or potential founder looking to build something meaningful I’d love to talk to you. Please say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org.