A New York VC Spotlight: Alessandro Piol
Alessandro Piol cofounded Vedanta Capital in 2006, where he is now a partner. He has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry.
Before co-founding Vedanta, Piol spent 10 years with AT&T, where he worked his way up from Vice President of Marketing to end up co-founding AT&T Ventures, the venture capital arm of AT&T, in 1991. His work there was focused on new media investments and opportunities.
He then a partner at Invesco Private Capital, where he invested in expansion stage companies in the technology sector.
Piol earned both his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science at Columbia University, where he was elected to the Eta Kappa Nu honor society. He also attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his M.B.A.
Always close to the Alley, Alessandro also the co-authored a book about the growth of the New York entrepreneurial ecosystem entitled Tech and the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community.
Co-founder and Partner of Vedanta Capital (Founded: 2001).
Co-founder and Partner of AT&T Ventures (Founded: 1991, left in 1995)
Classic Sports Network (Purchased by ESPN/Disney, becoming ESPN Classic)
Redgate Communications (Purchased by AOL)
Torrent Networking (Purchased by Ericsson)
BBN Planet (Purchased by GTE)
Spectrum Holobyte (merged with Microprose and was acquired by Hasbro)
CADIS (purchased by Aspect Development)
Columbia University SEAS Board of Visitors
Columbia University SEAS Entrepreneurship Advisory Board
TiE New York
Information Technology, New Media, Communications
On the technology startup landscape in New York in the 90s: “People got on the Internet bandwagon and very few people built something that was actually sustainable.”
On building from the ground up: “If you build some success, then everything else follows; the investors show up, the service companies show up and so on.”
On whether academia is necessary to have a successful Venture capital: I think academia is important. If you look all the successful ecosystems have all been built around Stanford, MIT, Technion in Israel. A talent center is important.”
On talent in the technology world: “Right now talent is expensive because there is not enough. It’s all demand and supply.”
On the space needed to build a startup: “Things are very different now then they were 15 years ago, when to even build a software company you had to have a big office space, a computer room, servers, all that stuff. Today, to build a company, you need a bunch of guys, a table and a few laptops.”
On Tumblr’s sale to Yahoo: “It’s a pity on one level, though, I think what New York needs is seeing some large companies being built and going public. That’s still missing and I think Tumblr could have been one of them. It would be nice, one day, to see a big company go public, stays here and starts acquiring other companies.”
On the next up and coming technology: “My hypothesis is that there is a lot of work to be done on the enterprise side in terms of renewing the corporation, making it more nimble, making it more connected using mobile and social technology.”
On Starting a business: “Starting a business is something that people that really want to do can do, but it’s a long journey. So, you can’t take anything for granted until you get to the finish line…if there even is a finish line.”