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A New York VC Spotlight: Craig Shapiro


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CRAIG SHAPIRO

You might say Craig Shapiro is one of the busiest entrepreneurs around, since he’s been involved with seven companies in various high-powered roles since 1999, often working with many of them at the same time.

But it certainly hasn’t burned him out.

In 1999, Shapiro started working as an account executive in business development at Modern Media. After a year there, he moved onto Proteus, Inc. as the vice president of sales and marketing, where he stayed until 2006.

Over the next four years, he worked as the head of content and strategy acquisition at Virgin Mobile USA, as the president of GOOD, the self-described media platform for people who want to live well and do good, and served on the board of directors for the Mobile Marketing Association.

Also during that time, Shapiro worked in a non-business capacity as the executive producer of “Truth in Numbers,” a documentary on Wikipedia and its worldwide cultural impact.

Not yet finished making his impact on the business scene by a long shot, Shapiro founded Collaborative Fund in 2010, rolling many of his own investments into the fund, including Gobble, MindSnacks and BankSimple . He serves as the fund’s CEO.

The company is based upon collaborative competition, which, in Shapiro’s words, is “the trend of businesses to extract value from existing resources,” and the growth of the creative class.

A year later, he also founded Quarterly, a self-described “subscription service with a twist,” featuring offline mailings and social media promotions. Users subscribe to an influential person or celebrity who then curates mailings four times a year, as opposed to the traditional method of subscribing to a brand to carry out the same task.

Shapiro holds a B.A.  from Washington University.

VC Firm:

The Collaborative Fund

Boards:

Getable, Quarterly

Selected Investments:

Gumroad, Getable, Days by Wander, Kickstarter, Simply, Massive Health, MindSnacks, SkillShare, Gobble, Codeacademy, Reddit, Small Demons, Rally, Simple Finance Technology, Makers Row, RapGenius, Karma, Mob.ly, Crowdrise, Goodrec, TaskRabbit, SkillShare,

Sector Focus:

Consumer Internet, consumer content, digital media, design, education, fitness, health and wellness, mobile, parenting and children-oriented content

Blogs, Twitter and Websites:

Twitter
Company website
Blog

Expertise areas:

Analytics, mobile, entrepreneurship, ventures for good, digital media, investment

Memorable quotes:

On the Collaborative Fund: “It’s the anti-Ron Conway, in a sense–not in a mean-spirited way, but we’re sort of slow and deliberate and we don’t make that many investments,”

On the focus of the Collaborative Fund: “When you build a company upon values that resonate with your customers, you’re investing in your own brand — and that’s the type of company we like to partner with.”

On his investing philosophy: “I recommend spending time before every meeting asking yourself and answering these two questions:

  1. What is this person’s itch?
  2. If I can adequately scratch it, what do I want in return?”

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About the author: John Tyczkowski

John Tyczkowski is a masters student in linguistics at the University of New Mexico. He’s the managing editor and opinion editor of the New Mexico Daily Lobo, UNM’s independent student-run newspaper, and an avid reader of Popular Science.

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