Always Be Selling (and Sailing) with Jason Klein

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If you’re looking to disrupt any of these markets with location based technology… I’m there

A number of NYC’s finest startups presented at the latest Entrepreneurs Roundtable at Microsoft’s west side offices, where guest investor Jason Klein discussed GeoDisruption – transforming industries through the use of location-based technology, and investing.

Jason E Klein, from media industry executive to angel investor:

Jason E. Klein is currently an active investor with New York Angels, Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York, and is Founder and CEO of On Grid Ventures, supporting both Entrepreneur’s Roundtable Accelerator and Metamorphic Ventures. Klein is a master of the “[reinvention of] legacy businesses — in ways which take full advantage of the ongoing digital transformation of media, information, and marketplaces.”

Previously, he pioneered new forms of GeoDisruption within top media and magazine companies (Klein has a deep background in media and content), helping to pave the way for the today’s entrepreneurs. Merging traditional marketing with technology for eight years with Times Mirror Magazines culminated in a $475 million sale. After nine years at NNN (a limited partnership that included The New York Times, Tribune, Gannett, Hearst, Cox, Advance/Newhouse, and Washington Post) he spoke before the FCC as an advocate the information needs of local communities.

A few highlights of Klein’s thoughts on investing:

Klein lent an interesting perspective on investing in general:

  • the average angel spends 20 hours per investment on due diligence, and by a factor of around four, the more time they spend, the more successful they are
  • looking for an investor with domain experience can help you to achieve customer and potential acquirer objectives
  • having general management experience with large companies (>100M) can add to an investor’s helpfulness (often it is someone with this background who is making the decision to acquire a startup)
  • the median for company valuation is around $2.4M nationally; 45% of exits are made at less than $50M (only 10% are IPOed); 67% of exits occur before the series B
  • Klein likes to see entrepreneurs who dive in deep to be the operator and who aren’t afraid to really understand the market
  • the CEO him/herself can be the competitive edge
  • maintaining simplicity, focus and balance in product can be key

In addition to his common sense attitude toward starting up and evaluating investments, Klein is not afraid to break down location-based applications into their marketing and customer-facing components. He elaborates: “geo-intent is a way to describe the customer decision journey and underlines these customer stages: discovery, sharing and review and transacting.” McKinsey, Jason’s alma mater, says: “Marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth….strategy, spending, channel management, and message.“ When geo-intent is successfully employed, GeoDisruption takes place, and this guides, and hits, many of Klein’s investment ‘hot-spots.’




Editor’s note: Jason Klein will be the guest investor at this month’s StartupOneStop Breakfast with an Angel on October 15th. The group is intentionally kept small so that everyone will have one-on-one time with Mr. Klein.


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About the author: Tommy Jenkins

T.J. is a native New Yorker who pursues high impact integrations of science and social awareness. She has been entrepreneur and team member, programmer and marketer, organizer, and avid watcher. She mainly works bi-coastally in entertainment and technology, striving for both excellence of character and effect.

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