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50 VC and Angel Investors Every Entrepreneur Should Know


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What’s the next big thing? There’s a good chance someone on this list is either starting it or funding it. The investors below have been a there as founders or investors for many of the companies that have shaped the internet  like Amazon, eBay, AOL, Paypal, Facebook, Twitter, Google and many more. These investors have had incredible success and are major players in the tech industry.

Q&A with angel investors at the Real-time Stre...

Photo credit: (Frank Gruber)

Even if you never have the opportunity to work with them they can provide you with incredible insight into the tech world as well as provide an unlimited amount of knowledge and expertise for achieving whatever you want.

Ron Conway

About: Referred by some as a super angel of Silicon Valley, Conway has been an active member of the tech sector for over thirty years. Previously, he was the founder and partner of the Angel Investors LP, which invested in big name companies like Google. Prior to being an angel investor, Conway was the co-founder of Altos Computer Systems, which went public in 1982. He was also the CEO of Personal Training Systems, which was acquired by SmartForce/SkillSoft.

Firm: SV Angel & Start Fund

Investments: AddThis, BuzzFeed, Pinterest, TweetDeck

Peter Thiel

About: Thiel is a partner in Founders Fund, an early stage investment company, and president of Clarium Capital, a hedge fund.

He also is a philanthropist and began the Thiel Fellowship, a program that pays students $100,000 to drop out of school to focus on being an entrepreneur. Before starting Clarium, Peter served as Chairman and CEO of PayPal, an Internet company he co-founded in December 1998 and was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in October 2002.

Firm: Founders Fund

Investments: Stripe, Quora, PandoDaily, Asana

Ben Horowitz

About: Ben Horowitz is a founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that helps entrepreneurs become successful CEOs and build important and enduring companies.

Horowitz was a co-founder and CEO of Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), which was acquired by HP in 2007 for $1.6 billion, and was appointed vice president and general manager of Business Technology Optimization for Software at HP. He serves on the board of many companies including Jawbone, Lytro, Magnet, Nicira and Tidemark.

Firm: Andreessen Horowitz

Investments: NationBuilder, Lytro, Asana,

Marc Andreessen

About: Marc Andreessen is a co-founder and general partner of the venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. Andreessen is also the co-founder of Ning, which was acquired by Glam Media for $150 million in 2011, and previously co-founded Netscape and served as the CTO at AOL.

Firm: Andreessen Horowitz

Investments: Business Insider, AppNexus, Foursquare, PandoMedia, OMGPOP

David S. Rose

About: Involved in the New York startup scene since the 1970s, Rose is currently the founder and chairman of New York Angels, an investment angel group, and the managing principle of Rose Tech Ventures. Throughout the years, Rose has successfully founded many startups with his most recent including Gust and AirMedia.

Firm: New York Angels and Rose Tech Ventures

Investments: Mashery, Space Adventures, Linkstorm

Fred Wilson

About: Founded Union Square Ventures, a venture capital firm, in 2004. The company has been extremely successful with investments in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Meetup, Zynga, del.icio.us, Etsy, Indeed.com, Tacoda, and Clickable. Previously, Wilson was the founder of Flatiron Partners.

Firm: Union Square Ventures

Investments: Twitter, Zynga, Foursquare

Paul Graham

About: Partner in Y Combinator, an early stage investing firm. Graham has been around the tech industry for some time. Back in 1995, he co-founded Viaweb, an application that allowed users to build their own e-commerce store, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998 for a reported $49 million. Graham also played a pivotal role in spam filters.

Firm: Y Combinator

Investments: OMGPOP, Dropbox, Hipmunk, AirBnB

Chris Dixon

About: Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies

Firm: Founder Collective

Investments: 20×200, Kickstarter, PandoDaily, Meddik, Stripe

Brad Feld

About: Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for over 20 years. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. He also directed the diversification into software consulting at AmeriData, a $1.5 billion publicly-traded company which was acquired by GE Capital in 1995.

Firm: Foundry Group

Investments: Zynga, Lijit Networks, OneRiot, Loomia

David Tisch

About: David is a Co-Founder of TechStars NYC. David is also the Managing Member of Box Group, a New York City based seed-stage angel capital firm.

Firm: TechStars NY

Investments: 42Floors, Art.sy, Boxee, Fab.com, GroupMe

Dave McClure

About: Founding Partner at 500 Startups, an incubator program that invests seed funding in companies while also providing mentoring. Dave has been in Silicon Valley for over twenty years, and has worked with companies such as PayPal, Mint, Founders Fund, Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Twilio, Simply Hired, O’Reilly Media, Intel, & Microsoft.

Firm: 500 Startups

Investments: InterMatch, BeHance, DailyWorth, 42Floors

John Frankel

About: John Frankel has been an early-stage venture investor since 1999. Mr. Frankel was one of the earliest investors in Quigo Technologies, which was purchased by AOL in December 2007, and in Cornerstone OnDemand which had a successful IPO in March 2011. He is also a Mentor with the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator program.

Firm: ff Venture Capital

Investments: Contently, HowAboutWe, Klout

Brian Cohen

About: Founded Technology Solutions, Inc. in 1983 which he then sold to The McCann Erickson World Group in 1997 and became the Vice Chairman. Now serves as Chairman of the New York Angels. He is very devoted to the New York City startup community

Firm: New York Angeles

Investments: Pinterest, Social Genius, School Loop

Roelof Botha

About: Roelof Botha is a partner at Sequoia Capital, and works with a broad range of companies. Roelof led the initial financing of YouTube on behalf of Sequoia Capital in 2005.

Roelof served as the Chief Financial Officer of PayPal, where he led the company through its IPO in 2002, and the acquisition by eBay before joining Sequoia Capital in 2003.

Firm: Sequoia Capital

Investments: Eventbrite, Tumblr, Instagram, Xoom Corporation

Reid Hoffman

About: Co-founder of LinkedIn, a network for professionals with a valuation of $9.31 billion after its IPO. Prior to LinkedIn Hoffman served as executive vice president at PayPal, where he was a founding board member. He is also a partner at Greylock, a VC firm located in Silicon Valley.

Firm: Greylock

Investments: AirBnB, Zynga, PayPal, Flickr and Facebook

Andy Weissman

About: Investor and partner at Union Square Ventures, Weissman also founded Betaworks.

Firm: Union Square Ventures

Investments: Bit.ly, Codecademy, Hot Potato, Tumblr, Tweetdeck, Twitter

Mitch Kapor

About: Partner at Kapor Capital and director at the non-profit organization, Level Playing Field Institute. In the past, Kapor was the founder of software company Lotus, which was acquired by IBM for $3.5 billion.

Firm: Kapor Capital

Investments: Bit.ly, Mozilla, Twilio, Uber

Mark Suster

About: Mark joined GRP Partners in 2007 after having worked with GRP for nearly 8 years as a two-time entrepreneur. Most recently Mark was Vice President, Product Management at Salesforce.com following its acquisition of Koral,where Mark was Founder and CEO. Prior to Koral, Mark was Founder and CEO of BuildOnline, the largest independent global content collaboration company.

Firm: GRP Partners

Investments: Gamesalad, Treehouse, ecomom

Eric Schmidt

About: For ten years, Schmidt served as the CEO of Google and presently is the executive chairman of the search engine giant. Forbes has Schmidt worth $6.9 billion

Firm: Innovation Endeavors

Investments: Mashape, Art.sy, DailyWorth

Kevin Rose

About: Partner at Google Ventures. Previously, Rose was the founder of Digg and the CEO of Milk. Rose made much of his fortune as an angel when he invested in Twitter, Zynga, and Square, according to The Wall Street Journal

Firm: Google Ventures

Investments: About.me, Fab, OMGPOP, Path

Sean Parker

About: Parker just launched Airtime, was the co-founder of Napster, and the founding president of Facebook. He is now managing partner of Founders Fund, a venture capital firm located in San Francisco.

Firm: Founders Fund

Investments: NationBuilder, Votizen, Spotify

Esther Dyson

About: Esther Dyson is an active investor in a variety of start-ups, focusing on technology. Her portfolio of private space and air travel investments includes XCOR Aerospace, Space Adventures/Zero G, Icon Aircraft, Coastal Aviation Software and Airship Ventures.

Dyson sold her business EDventure Holdings, along with its Release1.0 newsletter and PC Forum conference, to CNET Networks in 2004; PC Forum and Release 1.0 played key roles in the early development of the PC software marketplace and the commercial Internet.

Firm: Space Angels & New York Angels

Investments: Singly, HealthTap, Vizu Corporation, Power.com, Visible Path

Dave Morin

Co-founder and CEO of Path, a social network for mobile. Prior to Path, Morin was one of the first hirees at Facebook, where he assisted in Facebook Connect and Facebook Platform. He has also worked for Apple.

Firm: Independent

Investments: Birchbox, Bit.ly, Sparrow, TaskRabbit

Max Levchin

About: Founder of Slide, a company that creates apps for Facebook and widgets for the desktop. Prior to Slide, he was the co-founder and CTO of PayPal. The company sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion.

Firm: Independent

Investments: Listia, Pinterest, Slide

Rob Hayes

About: Hayes is a partner at First Round Capital. He has been involved in venture funding for quite some time with past stints at philanthropic investment company Omidyar Network, and Palm where he assisted with overseeing its venture arm.

Firm: First Round Capital

Investments: Mint, Square, TaskRabbit, Uber

Charlie O’Donnell

About: Charlie O’Donnell founded Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and was formerly a Principal at First Round Capital. He kicked off his career under Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures and is the founder of Path 101.

Firm: First Round Capital

Investments: Backupify; he found GroupMe, Singleplatform and Chloe + Isabel for FRC

Mike Arrington

About: Partner at CrunchFund, an early stage investment firm. In 2000, he cofounded Achex, an online payments company, that was later acquired by First Data Corp for $32 million. Up until 2011, he was the editor of Tech Crunch, a tech blog that he founded in 2005.

Firm: CrunchFund

Investments: Zaarly, Dogster, Snapguide, Seesmic

Jim Breyer

About: Partner at Accel. Breyer has been a staple in the tech industry, as an early investor in Facebook. He also sits on various boards: Dell, Facebook, Walmart, Brightcove, Etsy, and News Corporation. He played a pivotal role in getting Accel Partners to invest early in Facebook. He was so confident in the social network, he invested $1 million of his own money.

Firm: Breyer Capital

Investments: PandoDaily, Art.sy

Marissa Mayer

About: Mayer recently joined Yahoo as the new CEO. Prior to Yahoo, Mayer spent most of her career at Google with her most recent position as the vice president of Local and Location services.

Firm: Independent

Investments: Airtime, Brit, Minted, One Kings Lane, and Square

Alexis Ohanian

About: Cofounder of Reddit which has become one of the most popular social news websites online. In 2010, Alexis helped launch hipmunk, the most agony-free way to search for a flight or hotel. He is also the East Coast ambassador for  Y Combinator.

Firm: Y Combinator

Investments: Art.sy, Hubspot, Grubwithus, Crowdtilt

Catarina Fake

About: Co-founded Flickr along with Stewart Butterfield in 2004. After Flickr was acquired she Fake ran the Technology Development Group at Yahoo. She is also the founder of Hunch and Pinwheel.

Firm: Independent

Investments: Etsy, Kickstarter

Jay Levy

About: His first company, MPI was acquired by a publicly traded company. Levy then founded Trueview Services and most recently cofounded Zelkova Ventures where he is currently a partner.

Firm: Zelkova Ventures

Investments: Foodspotting, Rapportive, Fab, Klout

Josh Kushner

About: Founder of social gaming company Vostu and Thrive Capital, an early-stage firm that likes to invest in  media and internet.

Firm: Thrive Capital

Investments: Art.sy, Fab.com, Greplin, Dwolla, Instagram

Ben Lerer

About: Lerer is the co-founder and CEO of Thrillist, a publication targeted towards men with 3 million people subscribing daily to it. Recently, Thrillist expanded to include Thrillist Rewards and JackThreads, an online ecommerce store.

Firm: Lerer Ventures

Investments: Scoutmob, Venmo, Romotive, Pair, Yoke, Branch, Everlane, BuzzFeed, PandoDaily

Ken Lerer

About: Manager of Lerer Ventures, chairman of Betaworks, Bedrocket, and BuzzFeed. He also cofounded The Huffington Post.

Firm: Lerer Ventures and Pilot Group

Investments: Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post

Michael Lazerow

About: Co-founder and CEO of Buddy Media, a social enterprise software that got acquired by Salesforce for ~ $689 million. Prior to Buddy Media, Lazerow founded UWIRE which was acquired by CBS and Golf.com which was acquired by Time Inc.

Firm: Lazerow Ventures

Investments: N/A

Shana Fisher

About: Managing partner of High Line Venture Partners, a New York firm focused on early stage investments. Prior to High Line Venture Partners, Fisher was the senior vice president at IAC.

Firm: High Line Venture Partners

Investments: Crowdtilt, Makerbot, Pinterest

Dennis Crowley

About: Co-founder of Foursquare. Previously, he co-founded Dodgeball, a network of the same nature which sold to Google in 2005.

Firm: Independent

Investments:  Metamarkets, Square, Svpply, Timehop

Kal Vepuri

About: Founder and chairman of The Trisiras Group, an investment firm and holding company. He focuses on technology, the health industry, and consumer goods.

Firm: The Trisiras Group

Investments: 42Floors, Art.sy, Crowdtilt, Warby Parker

John Borthwick

About: CEO of Betaworks, an investment company. Prior to launching Betaworks, Borthwick was the CEO of Fotolog and also worked at Time Warner as the  senior vice president of Technology and Alliances.

Firm: Betaworks

Investments: Outside.in, Bit.ly, ShowMe, Twitter, UserVoice

Gary Vaynerchuk

About: Founder of VaynerMedia, a consulting agency for brands, Vaynerchuk made his money in the wine industry. After successfully helping his parents grow their wine company, he launched Winelibrary, an online wine store, in 2005 and has also launched Cinderalla Wine, a flash sale site.  

Firm: Independent

Investments: Adaptly, BarkBox, Birchbox, Meetup , SimpleGeo, Tumblr

Mike Yavonditte

About: CEO of YieldMo. He is also an investor and partner in ff Venture Capital. In the past, Yavonditte built Quigo,  which sold for $340M to AOL in 2007.

Firm: ff Venture Capital

Investments: Lover.ly, Klout, Meetup, Yipit, Flurry

David Sze

About: Before coming to Greylock, David was SVP of Product Strategy at Excite and then Excite@Home. As an early employee at Excite, David also held roles as GM of Excite.com and VP of Content and Programming for the Excite Network.

Firm: Greylock Partners

Investments: Facebook, Revision3, digg, Oodle, LinkedIn, Pandora

Amish Jani

About: Venture capitalist and marketing director at FirstMark Capital. Previously, Jani was a partner at Pequot Ventures.

Firm: FirstMark Capital

Investments: Aveksa, Bamboom, Boomi, NETGEAR, OpenX, YouAre.TV

Howard Morgan

About: Managing partner at First Round Capital. Prior to FRC, Morgan was a professor at Wharton, Cal-Tech and HBS. He was president of Renaissance Technologies Corp during the 80s, where he oversaw investments in tech companies. He was the director and founding investor of Idealab in the ’90s.

Firm: First Round Capital

Investments: Delicious, Mint, Pandora,  Yummly

Rick Heitzmann

About: Founder and managing director at FirstMark Capital, an early stage venture capital firm that likes to invest in technology companies focused on ecommerce, media, and gaming industry. Prior to FirstMark Capital, Heitzmann was a partner at Pequot Ventures.

Firm: FirstMark Capital

Investments: Clickable, Pinterest, StubHub, Tapad

Frank Rimalovski

About: Managing director of NYU Innovation Venture Fund, a seed capital for technology startups coming out of NYU. He is also founded New Venture Partners and Seymour Entertainment.

Firm: NYU Innovation Venture Fund

Investments: Azure Solutions Ltd., Fondu, numberFire, ShopWell

Brad Harrison

About: Founder and managing partner of BHV, an early stage seed fund that likes to invest in media, entertainment and technology. Harrison’s prior experience includes holding positions at Point Capital Partners, WhenU.com, and AOL.

Firm: BHV

Investments: BlackBook Media, CirrusWorks, Fliptu, Tracks, twtMob

Scott Heiferman

About: Co-founder and CEO of Meetup, a network for local community groups. In the past, he also co-founded Fotolog and i-traffic.

Firm: Independent

Investments: 20×200, Betaworks, Kickstarter, Path101, Skillshare

Owen Davis

About: Managing director at NYC Seed, a firm that funds early stage tech startups in New York City. Previously, Davis was the CEO of Petal Computing, Sonata, and Thinking Media.

Firm:  NYC Seed

Investments: Enterproid, Magnetic, Olapic, SeatGeek, Ticketfly, Tout

Reprinted by permission.

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About the author: Jared O'Toole

Jared O’Toole graduated Ithaca College with a finance degree and like so many other business majors he quickly realized corporate life was not a path for him. Instead, he got passionate about entrepreneurship, branding and how companies could leverage new media tools online. This change in heart led him to co-found Under30Media, a network of sites dedicated to inspiring young people with the resources needed to succeed on their journey including Under30CEO, Under30Finance, and Under30Careers. O’Toole has led Under30CEO to features on The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Yahoo! Finance to name a few.

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