An Angel in New York: David Tisch



David Tisch, a self-proclaimed lover of hoodies, jam bands and ellipses, is an angel investor with BoxGroup, where he is also managing partner, and co-founder of TechStars NYC.  With a focus on early stage technology startups, Tisch’s typical investment ranges from $50,000 to $250,000.  He and his co-founder, Adam Rothenberg, actively invest not only in New York, but also across the country, believing that geography shouldn’t create boundaries.

The Westchester native earned his bachelor’s degree in American history at the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctor from the New York University School of Law.

Before his venture with TechStars, Tisch was executive vice president of interactive strategies at kgb, a global information services company.  There, he created Knowmore.com, which was a social aggregation company within kgb.

The early-stage investor has made more than 40 investments in NYC-based companies and has worked with more than 50 startups.

Recently, Tisch was appointed to Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology, and, in addition to participating in local startup events, serves as a judge for BigApps Hackathon and hackNY.  He also serves on the Investor Board of Venture for America and contributes to Wall Street Journal’s online blog, The Accelerators.

Last year, Tisch married Zara Terez Zimmerman, who owns a company in her name that designs and manufactures handbags and other accessories.

VC Firm:

Managing Partner at BoxGroup (Founded in 2009)

Sector Focus:

Art, Automotive, B2B, Business Service, E-Commerce, Loyalty Programs, Design, Entertainment, Events, Fashion, Finance, Fitness, Games, Health Care, Information Technology, Platforms, Social, Prediction Markets, Investment Management, Real Estate, Education, Mobile, Marketplaces, Reviews and Recommendations, Technology, Travel.

Selected Investments:

Betable, Memoir, MileWise, 9GAG, Simperium, Lore, Dispatch, Box, Kitchensurfing, Rewind Me, Artsy, Skillshare, Bondsy, Piictu, Days by Wander, Streak, ADstruc, Leaky, CustomMade, Fab.com, StepOut, Kohort, Tinfoil Security, LaunchRock, MobileDay, Goodsie, Clothia, Kapost, Scopely, Lever, Condition One, Scaffold, Open Air, Publishing, Giftly, Moveline, LawPivot, Hii Def Inc., Grand St., Circa, 42Floor, Karma, Poptip, Elastic, SeatMe, YieldBot, Veri, StatSheet, YouAreTV, Profitably, Flavors.me, Sunrise, Dataminr, Ignighter, Lua, MyTime, Handybook, CustomMade.com, Classtivity, Troop ID, IFTIT, 10sheet, Smallknot, Zozi, Pickie, Marquee, Nestio, Nomi, GameChanger Media, CruiseWise, VYou, FancyHands, Say, Edition 01


GroupMe sold to Skype for an undisclosed amount
ThinkNear sold to Telenav for $22.5 million
UpNext sold to Amazon for an undisclosed amount
DoodleDeals sold to Plum District for an undisclosed amount
Behance sold to Adobe Systems for $150 million
Frame sold to Sailthru for an undisclosed amount
Vine sold to Twitter for $20 million


Troop ID

Expertise Areas:

Internet Technologies, Web 2.0, Angel Investing, Seed Stage Investing, Product and Business Development, Team Building, Mergers and Acquisitions, Startups, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Mobile Devices, Strategic Partnerships, Strategy, Investments, Private Equity, Social Media Marketing, Financial Modeling.

Blogs, Twitter & Websites:

Personal Website

Memorable Quotes:

On smartphone apps:  “If you ask anyone if they’re bored with what’s on their phone, it will always be a unanimous yes.”

On getting his attention:  “Be yourself.  If you’re trying too hard, but it comes off as genuine, that’s okay.  If you’re passive and antisocial and awkward, that’s fine.  Just be yourself.”

On transitioning from TechStars to BoxGroup:  “With a deep level of appreciation for the experience and a sense of pride, I have chosen to take this less active role to focus on starting and building new projects.”

On accelerators:  “The majority of accelerators are not good for companies and will fail.  There are too many of them. The idea of applying to just any accelerator is totally silly.  A company should do its homework and figure out which one is right for them.”

About the author: Emily Roland

Emily is a recent graduate from The University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. While at Ole Miss, Emily worked at The Daily Mississippian newspaper, most recently as editor-in-chief. She is currently focused on copy-editing at AlleyWatch.

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