Nothing Ventured...

21-Year-Old Oren Bennett Aiming for $100 M With His First VC Fund

orren bennet 300x225 1 21 Year Old Oren Bennett Aiming for $100 M With His First VC Fund

The $100 million man.

A few weeks back Betabeat met Oren Bennett at a Brooklyn Beta party, where he informed us that he was a recent college dropout who was planning to start his own venture fund. We had our doubts, given his lack of experience as an entrepreneur and his admittedly minimal knowledge of finance. Today we got an update from his friends at UNYStartups:

Mr. Bennett is doing great. He met Mark Suster, who thought he was wasted. And he is forging ahead with his venture adventure, aiming to raise a $100 million fund his first time up to bat as  High Growth Capital Partners.

This being a hip, youthful fund, it currently operates off of a Tumblr and Twitter account. As Mr. Bennett explained, “We were also at the peak of the biggest macro cycle in the history of the U.S. This meant it was the best time to raise and the worst time to invest.” In order to compete with established shops like DFJ Gotham and USV, Mr. Bennet had to go big. “I decided to raise $100 Million myself and start my own VC Firm. I needed to raise as much as I could because after the cycle ended I would have to wait a long time before I could raise again. I knew the minimum amount for the first round was usually $25 Million. I was about to do something very unusual.”

To find backers for this big fund, Mr. Bennett plunged into the tech scene here in New York. “I’ve talked to Brad Feld, Luke Nosek, Jim O’Neill, John Frankel, Eliot Durbin, Kirill Sheynkman and Murat Aktihanoglu. The list goes on of people who I’ve told about what I’m doing and have considered potential LPs.”

It’s do or die for Mr. Bennett. “If I don’t reach my goal of $100 Million in two weeks or decide to raise from family, I’ll start something else. Don’t know what I’ll do next, but I’ll get to it when I get to it. For now my plan is raise, raise and raise.”

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Comments

  1. deancollins says:

    This photo http://yfrog.com/gyfrrkgj is bi-polar, @1obennet is claiming 100m in first fund @msuster is claiming the world is ending.Either way was surprised at the lack of twitter backchannel on #VentureShift hashtag during the panels and surprised at the lack of questions about the Access To Capital act currently before congress.Dean Collinshttp://www.LivefanChat.com

    1. Tyler Hughes says:

      So how much has this guy raised now since BetaBeat first met him…? Looks like he’s treading water to me.

      1. Dean Collins says:

        he only started 2 weeks ago so cant be treading water to much as just started. who knows if he will close off the fund but at least he’s trying.what did you do this fine saturday morning apart from browse facebook :)
        my real question is once Oren has the money what value will he offer….and on what terms.http://www.LiveFanChat.com is looking for funding but have been put off by some of the over the top terms people are looking to assign for what realistically is a pretty small commitment.

      2. Tyler Hughes says:

        Umm, I spent my fine saturday coding an app and not pandering my site to people who don’t give a crap. I don’t have a problem with him trying to raise money, but my concern is that it seems he has no plan for what to do with the money once it comes in. His only goal seems to be “raise, raise, raise”, and not “build, build, build”.

        Interestingly enough, I didn’t even mean to post a reply on your comment.

    2. Tyler Hughes says:

      So how much has this guy raised now since BetaBeat first met him…? Looks like he’s treading water to me.

  2. bfeld says:

    I met Oren for five minutes at the Bloomberg event I spoke at on 10/18. He approached me, told me what he was doing, and gave me a card. That was it. I didn’t suggest that I was interested in being an LP, nor did he ask me. I’ve never heard from him since. 

    This is the second time I’ve seen my name quoted in an article as being a “potential LP.” I do not consider myself a potential LP of his, so Oren shouldn’t either.

    1. Oren Bennett says:

      This begs the question, why don’t you consider yourself a potential LP? 

      1. bfeld says:

        Several reasons:

        1. Zero followup. This is the first time you’ve contacted me since our five minute discussion. 

        2. No relationship: I wouldn’t invest in someone I didn’t have a relationship with. You’ve done nothing to develop that relationship other than mention me publicly as a potential LP. That turns me off.

        3. No clear experience – either as an entrepreneur or investor: When we talked, you presented yourself as enthusiastically inexperienced. The only substantive thing I remembered from our conversation was that. It perplexed me, and turned me off.

      2. Oren Bennett says:

        1. Weird because I definitely have a print screen copy of the follow up email I sent you after the event with your prompt reply (Evident below). I rather develop a relationship with face-to-face interactions. So instead of accepting your offer of periodic emailing, I decided to wait until I saw you again. 

        2. I wouldn’t invest in someone I didn’t have a relation with either, which is why I was considering developing a possible relation. I’m sorry you’re turned off, but I like growing relations based on trust and value. Email just doesn’t do that for me. Dave Tisch may disagree, but that’s is my opinion. 

        3. I’m lucky enough to have experience as both an entrepreneur and an investor. As an investor I’ve never invested money. But just ask anyone in the NYC Tech Community who has had more than one meeting with me and I bet you can’t find one entrepreneur I haven’t invested time helping. As an entrepreneur I’ve never built a “product”. But in the last 6 months, I’ve Co-Founded a blog, a venture firm and I’m now building a kickstarter for startup investing. I have done all of this without investing a dime. I see that as value. I appreciate your quick response to  my initial question. 

      3. bfeld says:

        1. Sorry – I didn’t remember that email but as you can see from it there was no follow up from you after that! My comment still stands on this – being publicly listed as a prospective LP when there is no relationship is equivalent to saying “every human on the planet is a prospective LP.” It’s meaningless – and my comment was in response to that.

        2. I was turned off by being publicly named as a prospective LP. If you had engaged with me in ANY substantive way first, I might have felt different. In your email you ask me to be a mentor. I say that I’m happy to go back and forth by email anytime. You never responded to that. Regardless of whether or not email is your way, we are now going back and forth publicly on the web, which is even more work in my book and less personal, which I find kind of ironic.

        3. Awesome! Keep it up!

      4. Guest says:

        1. Weird because I definitely have a print screen copy of the follow up email I sent you after the event with your prompt reply (Evident below). I rather develop a relationship with face-to-face interactions. So instead of accepting your offer of periodic emailing, I decided to wait until I saw you again. 

        2. I wouldn’t invest in someone I didn’t have a relation with either, which is why I was considering developing a possible relation. I’m sorry you’re turned off, but I like growing relations based on trust and value. Email just doesn’t do that for me. Dave Tisch may disagree, but that’s is my opinion. 

        3. I’m lucky enough to have experience as both an entrepreneur and an investor. As an investor I’ve never invested money. But just ask anyone in the NYC Tech Community who has had more than one meeting with me and I bet you can’t find one entrepreneur I haven’t invested time helping. As an entrepreneur I’ve never built a “product”. But in the last 6 months, I’ve Co-Founded a blog, a venture firm and I’m now building a kickstarter for startup investing. I have done all of this without investing a dime. I see that as value. I appreciate your quick response to  my initial question.