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A New York VC Spotlight: Benjamin Sun


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BEN_SUN

Internet entrepreneur and Angel Investor Benjamin Sun has been profiled by Crain’s New York Business as one of the top under-40 executives to watch.  He is co-founder and partner of LaunchTime LLC, an incubator focused on digital media and e-commerce.   Previously, he served as President and CEO of Community Connect Inc, which he co-founded in 1996 in his Manhattan apartment and grew by raising over $20 million from notable investors, including Comcast and Sandler Capital.  Additionally, he is responsible for developing the largest online diversity recruiting service, in partnership with Monster Worldwide Inc., to allow corporations to source a more diverse candidate pool.

Sun holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.

VC Firm:

Partner at High Peaks Venture Partners.

Sector Focus:

Internet, enterprise software, and wire and cable industry companies

Expertise Areas:

Online advertising, product management, social networking, venture capital, and virtual currency

Blogs and Social Media:

Twitter
Ah-ha 2.0

Memorable Quotes:

On the role social media can play in advertising:  “Social networking sites collect more self-identified data than any other type of sites. Think about the data that you provide…..age, gender, location, marital status, occupation, favorite books, music and movies. And then additional data that you provide as you spend time on the site. When you download the Texas Hold’Em app, they know you like poker, when you become a Fan of the Yankees page, they know you are a Yankee fan. So with all this data, how do marketers leverage it?  Well, the best advertising play for display may be taking that data and applying it when a user is on another site. Therefore, combining the ability to target the right customer at the right place and time.”

On hiring: “When I started Community Connect Inc., I was 23 years old and I had never managed someone yet in my career and therefore never learned how to hire well. I have a friend that was recently promoted to manage a team at a large media company.  She recently hired someone senior at her team and she said that she was intimidated by him, because she said “he can probably do the job better than me”.  I told her hiring uncomfortably was a demonstration that she was hiring well, which is one of the most important attributes in being a great manager.    To be a great entrepreneur, you need to embrace hiring uncomfortably and push your managers to do the same.  By doing so, you will constantly raise the bar and create an environment of excellence.”

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About the author: Edna Gutierrez

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