An Angel in New York: Scott Birnbaum



Scott Birnbaum, an early stage investor, entrepreneur, lawyer and digital media strategy expert, is the sole partner at Red Sea Ventures, which has invested in technology and media companies, including Nest, a home automation company recently acquired by Google.

After having received his BA from Georgetown University, Birnbaum, who grew up in Paris, co-founded Epok (2001), an early distributed software platform designed to enable cross-network collaboration mostly targeted at intelligence and law enforcement agencies.  He served as co-founder and Executive Vice President of Epok for six years before he left to pursue a law degree from Fordham.

After law school, Birnbaum worked in corporate law as an Associate at White & Case where he focused on Project Finance and M&A transactions.

His interest in digital media and technology then brought him to CBS Local, where he became the Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships working on the rollup of all digital media assets for local TV and Radio.

After nearly a year and a half at CBS, Birnbaum left to work full time on Red Sea Ventures, his diversified investment firm focused on media, technology and retail.

In an article from InTheCapital featuring a panel of New York- and Silicon Valley-based angel investors, Birnbaum stressed that founders can create startups at very low costs as business technologies continue to evolve. Therefore, startups shouldn’t rush to spend their initial capital until they establish a significant connection with their customer base.

In addition to Red Sea, Birnbaum has spent the last ten years as an active member of Seeds of Peace, an organization that identified teenage leaders from regions of conflict build relationships and leadership skills to create global peace. He joined the Board of Directors in 2012.

In 2013, Birnbaum was awarded the Young Peace Maker award for his contribution to Seeds of Peace through his volunteer service and role as a founding member and Chairman of the Young Leadership Committee, as well as for his involvement in several other key committees.

Founded Companies: Red Sea Ventures

Boards: Seeds of Peace

Expertise areas: Business Development, Law, Digital Media, Enterprise Software

Selected Investments:

Always Prepped, Casetext, Fancy, Host Committee, InsideHook, Joor, Lerer Ventures, Leagueapps, Nest, Sweetgreen, Splashthat, Trigger Media, Tackk, Vantageous Video, Violet Grey

Blogs, Website, Social:


Memorable Quotes:

On his work with Seeds of Peace: “I had the honor of sitting with Israeli and Palestinian Seeds for launch at Camp. One of them asked me what I was doing to help end the conflict. I told the Seed that, in supporting Seeds of Peace, my job was to help create opportunities for young leaders like the Seeds at that table to grow and become more effective, so that they can make the change that we all want. That Seed responded, ‘I like that; I can do that.’”

About the author: Meredith Lee

Meredith is currently studying Journalism and English at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she focuses on blending new and traditional medias to enhance communication for a future career in digital media. She enjoys everything related to new media, investigative journalism, international communications, cooking, traveling and music festivals.

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