Visiting Dignitaries

Sean Parker Thinks Angel Investors Not Named Ron Conway Should Stop Writing So Many Checks

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Sean Parker had some choice words for early stage Silicon Alley investors on stage at the Techonomy conference today. And when we say choice, we mean Aaron Sorkin couldn’t have written his lines better.

As AllThingsD reports, Mr. Parker seemed to have number of misgivings against the froth he sees among Valley investors right now, which he says damages a startup’s ability to have major impact.

“A lot of those early stage investors, they’ll fund literally anything” said Mr. Parker said, who referred to the current model as “the assembly line approach to investing.” As in: an idea comes in, an investment comes out.  Meanwhile, he noted, in order to tap into that deal flow, VCs and other later stage investors are plunking down cash much earlier.

Mr. Parker was sharing the stage with his host and friend David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect and recent Vanity Fair profile of Mr. Parker, as well as Jim Breyer, a Facebook board member and investor in Mr. Parker’s pre-launch startup Airtime. (Presumably, none of Mr. Parker’s criticism applied to Mr. Breyer’s investment strategy.) Read More

New Money

Early Stage Investing in New York Got Supercharged Mid-2009

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What the hell happened in the middle of 2009? Jerry Neumann, an early stage investor in such companies as 33across and BankSimple, couldn’t sleep last night. So he decided to play with investment data from Crunchbase, TechCrunch’s crowd-sourced, somewhat spotty record of start-up rounds. “New York City is on a roll, right? Right,” he writes. Looking at the data, New York VCs like Betaworks, the sleeper Great Oaks Venture Capital, Greycroft Partners, Hudson Ventures, DFJ Gotham, Union Square Ventures and Village Ventures doubled their efforts in early stage investing since the end of 2009 and they haven’t slowed down. Read More