Seed to Scale: Episode 25 with Josh Kopelman, Founder & Partner of First Round Capital and investor in Uber, Square & Flatiron
On living in Philly, investing in NY and scaling teams beyond Silicon Valley
Josh Kopelman, Founder and Partner at First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture firm that has invested in some of the biggest names including Uber, Square and Flatiron Health. First Round aims to help early-stage companies build a strong product-market fit and offers some of the industry’s first and best tools from their custom-built software to sharing their deep industry insight with their publication First Round Review.
In this episode, Josh speaks with Eniac Co-founding Partner Nihal Mehta on his journey from being one of the first students at Penn to get an email address to how he leveraged his early experience on the Internet to founding his first three companies — Infonautics, Half.com, and TurnTide. Josh then seized the opportunity to start First Round with Chris Fralic and Rob Hayes when the cost to start a company was decreasing, but the average venture firm tripled in size.
Josh speaks to his advantage of living in Philadelphia, why they are placing big bets in New York and his perspective why it has never been easier to build a company outside of Silicon Valley. He also addresses scaling teams and the regional talent gap.
He speaks to why First Round operates like a startup, continuing to improve and find new products that better serve their founders and community. He also shares why their fund size has remained consistent and how they view fund model vs fund size.
Josh also shares why they left Twitter, DropBox, and Zynga on the table.