A New York VC Spotlight: Ben Lin



Shortly after completing his undergraduate studies, Ben Lin began his career as an analyst with Goldman Sachs in the Global Investment Research division for a year. In that time, he and Andrew Boszhardt, Jr. founded Great Oaks Venture Capital, a seed and early-stage investment firm focused on startups, mainly in technology sector, with investments ranging from $50K to $500K. Following the company launch, Lin has maintained his position as Managing Partner.

At Great Oaks, Lin invests in E-commerce and education technology such as Modcloth.com, Twice, and CourseHero. The company has been largely successful, including startup Invite Media, which was acquired by Google for $81 million.

Currently, he serves on the board of Olapic, a Visual Commerce platform for crowdsourced photos and videos.

Lin graduated in 2005 with a BS in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

VC Firm: Co-founder and Managing Partner at Great Oaks Venture Capital (Founded in 2005)

Sector Focus: E-commerce & Consumer Product, Advertising Technology, Education Technology, SaaS/Cloud, Mobile, Social, Gaming, Content/Distribution

Selected Investments: Modcloth.com, Twice, Hullabalu, EAT Club, Trulia.com, FanIQ, Stitcher, 33Across, Eversave.com, Zimbio.com, Bellbrook Labs, HealthTap, CourseHero, CardPool, Warby Parker, Twochop, RiseArt.com, Icon Aircraft, Exercise.com


Invite Media acquired by Google for $81 million
Movity acquired by Trulia for undisclosed amount
Mertado acquired by Groupon for undisclosed amount

Boards: Olapic

Expertise Areas: Venture Capital, Startups, Seed Funding, Finance, Investments, Entrepreneurship, Technology

Blogs, Twitter and Websites:

Company website

Memorable Quotes:

On how America’s best entrepreneur CEOs develop big ideas: “Talk to your customers!”

About the author: Vanessa Trawicky

A recent graduate from the University of Georgia with a major in linguistics and a minor in German, Vanessa Trawicky is currently interning as an English teaching assistant in Germany and as a copyeditor with AlleyWatch.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, biking, cooking, studying languages and always learning something new on Coursera.