Funding

Flatiron School Scores $5.5 Million in Funding, Vows To Become ‘Super High-End Vocational School’

Students at the Flatiron School learnin' stuff. (Flatiron School)

The Flatiron School announced this morning that it closed a $5.5 million funding round, led by Charles River Ventures (CRV) and Matrix Partners. Additional investments came from Box Group and other angel investors.

The money will allow the school —  which offers intensive twelve-week courses in web and iOS development — to really focus on improving the quality of education it offers its students.

“Where most companies take capital to grow, we took it to slow down and make sure we could really get the product right,” Flatiron dean Avi Flombaum told Betabeat. “We can continue our interesting classes, and focus on quality and experience of education — and not just stamping out into other cities and homogenizing our brand.” Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

TechStars NYC Ships in Talent From Boulder to Replace David Tisch

Ms. Glaros (Photo: NearlyNicole.com)

TechStars NYC has been quiet since August, when managing director David Tisch announced that he would be stepping back from his day-to-day role at the accelerator program. Almost exactly a year ago, we profiled Mr. Tisch’s rise to prominence in New York’s startup scene largely through his role in building a satellite program for TechStars, which entered the local market just when it could benefit from a little infrastructure.

(Early observers will recall that the first class of TechStars New York was filmed for a reality show, but managed to escape the humorless vitriol directed at Randi Zuckerberg–probably because the TechStars version was for Bloomberg instead of Bravo, and involved about 100 percent fewer toga parties.) Over the past few years, Mr. Tisch has become a prolific angel investor through Box Group, and his name frequently shows up in seed funding rounds for New York companies–TechStars and otherwise. Thus finding a replacement who is as well-versed in the scene might be tricky. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Tisch Out of Water: David Tisch Navigates Startupland and Comes Out a TechStar

(via We Are NY Tech)

On a warm October afternoon, before the weather turned, Betabeat was following David Tisch’s lead up and down University Place in search of an empty-ish coffee shop. Mr. Tisch, the bright-eyed, foul-mouthed managing director of TechStars New York, an incubator for young startups, shuffled along in his standard get-up: jeans, a hoodie, and a backwards baseball hat. His unruly black hair flipped out from underneath.

It’s a fitting uniform for Mr. Tisch, who in person can come across much like the founders he invests in. The grandson of self-made billionaire Laurence Tisch, his speech is peppered with the words “fuck” and “cool,” he burrows his fists in his hoodie, and, once we find a place to sit, jostles the glasses on the table when he crosses and uncrosses his long legs. “I’m pretty shy in groups. I don’t like big crowds. So being on TV is weird for me,” he said, referring to the Bloomberg TV cameras that followed him around for months to document the TechStars New York’s inaugural class.

Just 48 hours earlier, clean-shaven and in shirtsleeves this time, Mr. Tisch stood in front of the Cedar Lake auditorium in Chelsea, rearranging the paper nametags on reserved seats like an anxious dinner party host, albeit to maximize the free flow of funding rather than conversation.

By the time he introduced Mayor Bloomberg to the packed house of more than 500, including the haut monde of investors and entrepreneurs who make up TechStars’ list of mentors and backers, Mr. Tisch had a hard time wiping off his grin.

“David, thank you. Good morning, it’s good to be here at Demo Day!” the Mayor said, before glancing at the iPad-cum-teleprompter he placed on the podium. “I also wanted to welcome all the VCs and angel investors who have flown in here from around the country. I think you’re proof positive that the TechStars is going to change this world and certainly change America and this city.”

Two years ago, Mr. Tisch, would have been lucky to get a ticket to such an affair, much less license to arrange the wedding table. While his last name may be synonymous with New York industry, aside from a handful of angel investments, Mr. Tisch was a relative unknown in tech circles before his appointment at TechStars. Read More

Littlest Angels

GroupMe’s Exit to Skype a Big Win for New York’s Young Tech Investors

nakajima selluot

The seed stage investors in GroupMe featured a lot of the same twenty-something investors Betabeat wrote about in our Littlest Angels feature back in February. David Tisch, Ben Lerer and Josh Kushner all saw their first big exits when Skype bought GroupMe, and according to one source, it was a doozy.

The seed stage round for GroupMe was $850,000 dollars, and according to sources, made at a pre-money valuation of around $4 million. That would mean a post-money figure of 4.85 million, which, given the reported exit price of $85 million, would be a multiple of roughly 17X. Read More