A New York VC Spotlight: Joe Medved



The tagline for Joe Medved’s personal website reads, “Startup addict and Cleveland sports fanatic,” a solid description considering that Medved invests $250K-$1M in about 8-12 startups each a year.

Medved has a history of working with media-related ventures.  He previously worked as an associate and analyst for J.P. Morgan Technology, Media & Telecommunications Investment Banking, then went on to become an associate at Constellation Ventures, a media and communications venture capital fund.

Since 2005, when Medved joined SoftBank Capital, his focus has largely been on investing in digital media companies, primarily offering seed and Series A funding.  In 2009, he co-founded the networking group, Digital Media VC/Corp Dev Connection, which connects investors and corporate development professionals involved with digital media.

Although his office is based in New York, Medved has strong ties to Boston and serves as Chairman Emeritus of the New England Venture Network, a vast network of young venture capitalists.  In 2011, he was inducted into Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.”  About 500 nominations were reviewed for the honor, which considers both professional accomplishments and community involvement in the region.  On making the switch from Boston to New York, Medved told the Boston Business Journal, “There’s a lot of talk about New York vs. Boston, but it would be foolish to ignore either market.  We continue to invest in both.”

Medved graduated from Boston College’s Wallace E. Carroll School of Management with a B.S. in Finance and completed The General Course at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

VC Firm:

Partner at SoftBank Capital (Founded in 1995)

Sector Focus:

Advertising Platforms, Consumer Internet, E-Commerce, Education, Games, Mobile and Social Media.

Selected Investments:

Jump Ramp Games


JumpRamp Games

Expertise Areas:

Media, Games, Mobile Technology, E-Commerce, Corporate Development and Business Modeling.

Blogs, Twitter & Websites:


Memorable Quotes:

On the next generation of social companies:  “In searching for the next generation of successful social companies, VCs will look for not only growth, but engagement, mobile success and strong intent.”

On the importance of working with Japanese companies:  “[Japanese companies] are very advanced in their infrastructure, speeds, access and distribution.  But the U.S. leads in software, and has seen more innovation in ad technology.”

On whether or not a company should have an “Anti-portfolio,” a collection of deals that got away:  “I think it is always important for VCs to reflect on their investment track records so that they can learn lessons from their past investments. Thinking about the companies you failed with, either by investing in something that didn’t work out or not investing in something that became a big winner, to determine what you missed in either situation is a very healthy thing to do.  And I believe that most VCs do keep track of their failures in this way, particularly with the companies that win big.  Whether or not one should promote it formally as the “Anti-Portfolio” is a different question.  Bessemer does it, which I think is fantastic, but we have never gotten around to doing it here at SoftBank.”

On what’s the first thing a VC firm cares about:  “It’s team, team and concept.  It has to have a large potential market. But at the early stage, you really want to bet on great teams.”

On explaining his role:  “My role is to network heavily in order to connect people.  I’m just sort of entertaining people all day long and talking about ideas.  I love my job — I would do it for free.”

Click for more Venture Capitalists in New York.

About the author: Stephanie Santana

After receiving a dual degree in magazine journalism and anthropology, Stephanie moved to Korea to teach English to elementary students for two years. During her time there, she started a website for salsa dancing in Korea, BusanSalsafied.com. She is currently an editorial assistant at AlleyWatch and is happy to back in New York at an exciting time for startups.  She likes to document her experiences here: stephaniesantana.tumblr.com.

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