You have to hand it to the New York investment community: not there’s no shortage of angels. New York is a social town, with panel discussions and presentations every week of the year and chances are, there are always at least one or two angels in the room.
The term ‘angel investor’ is actual native to New York, and first referred to Broadway investors. Times change. These angels invest in tech, and they’re right here in town. There are too many to highlight the hundreds of angels who call New York home, but here are 25 you should get to know. And without further ado, on with the show…
Founder’s note: AlleyWatch does not have a financial relationship with any of those included. This list is in no particular order nor is it a ranking. In fact, the =RAND() function on excel was used to determine order.
Jeff Pulver is one of the pioneers of the VoIP industry. A globally renowned thought leader, author, entrepreneur and angel investor, in 1995 Pulver defined “VON” to stand for Voice/Video on the Net and continues today to contribute words to both the telecom and social media vernaculars.
In fact, he founded Vonage.
He is also founder of FWD (Free World Dialup), the VON Coalition (an organization dedicated to the advancement and federally unregulated future of VoIP and other communication technologies), Vivox, and others and is most lately, the cofounder of Zula. He has influenced the creation of numerous other start-ups, as an active investor in over 150+ early-stage companies.
Bizzabo, Foursquare, Twitter, onRelay, Seesmic, Fever
Keep up with Jeff:
Image credit: Twitter
GothamGal Joanne Wilson is an integral part of the New York tech startup community as a very active angel investor and advisor, especially for women looking to launch a startup. A majority of Wilson’s investments are in female-founded companies, like Nestio, Lover.ly and DailyWorth. She also encourages women to immerse themselves in family and work, and to push past the obstacles of being a woman in business and technology.
Wilson sits on the board of Hot Bread Kitchen, an organization that supports foreign-born and low-income women and men through a bakery project and training program, and Highline, a public park on the elevated rail line on Manhattan’s West Side.
Admittedly, Food52, GIFTLAB, Have to Have, How Good, Kitchensurfing, Little Bits, Little Borrowed, Dress, Lover.ly, New York Mouth, Nestio, NG Advantage, Rick’s Picks, Red Stamp, Scoot Networks, TaxiTreats, The Talk Market, theSweeten, Venuebook, Willa, Windowfarms, Maker’s Row.
Image credit: Sit with Me
Stephen Messer is a successful serial entrepreneur and angel investor, and for the record, business partner Heidi Messer is his sister. The pair founded LinkShare together (sold to Rakuten for $425m) and their present company is Collectivei, which helps businesses better analyze their data for performance optimization.
If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, go. One of our favorites: “Don’t go to venture capitalists. You’ll get better terms from the Mafia.”
Although he is a partner in several venture capital firms. Go know.
Image credit: CC by TechCrunch
Jerry Neumann has been investing in Internet startups for the past 15 years. A self-described hacker, backer and slacker, he’s an active early-stage investor, with seed money in Tuition.io, Ufora, Premise, Percolate, PowHow, Media Armor, Yieldbot, PlaceIQ, Datadog, Awe.sm, Metamarkets, The Trade Desk, BankSimple, Flurry, Magnetic, 33Across, Optimal, PerformLine, and Profitably, and an advisor to Ginzametrics, Luma Partners, BigML, and Sociocast.
Founder of Neu Venture Capital, he typically invests in seed-stage companies using cutting-edge technologies to disrupt massive business sectors. He only makes four or five investments a year, and only invest in companies where he can make a difference.
Karma, Flurry, Lucky Sort, DataHero, Granify, Media Armor, Profitably, Tuition.io, Placeiq, YieldBot, Handipoints, 33Across, Simple, Magnetic, Metamarkets, PerformLine,The Trade Desk, Percolate, awe.sm, Optimal.
Image credit: CC by John Federico
Entrepreneur, angel investor, student and lover of life, and aspiring Renaissance man, Fabrice Grinda has founded and invested in companies on several different continents, and has made over 140 investments – and counting – especially in companies in New York, with a focus on business productivity and e-commerce.
Dagny Dover, Suitey, Tiger Trade, WeHostel, Adore Me, Bespoke Post, Bright Roll, Producteev
Image credit: CC by OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS
Brian Cohen. Chairman of the New York Angels. The father of science and technology communications (he founded the tech PR agency Technology Solutions, Inc. in 1983, which was bought by the McCann Erikson Worldgroup in 1997). Author, What Every Angel Investor Wants You To Know: In Insider Reveals How To Raise Money For Your Billion-Dollar Idea.
Authorea, Pinterest, PublicStuff, Comixology, Tripshare, Magnify Networks, School Loop, 1000Museums, Social Genius, Ambient Devices, eJamming, Tommy Johns
Image credit: Get Funded by Angels
Let’s just go through the list:
As an entrepreneur, Michael Lazerow has more than $2 billion of successful exits to his credit: Buddy Media (sold to Salesforce.com, NYSE: $CRM), U-Wire/Student Advantage (IPO), GOLF.com (sold to Time Inc.), Lazerow Ventures, Lazerow Consulting LLC.
As an investor: Facebook (IPO), Tumblr (sold to Yahoo), Buzzfeed, Domo, Bitium, ChatID, elicit, eVenues, Flashbotes, Have to Have, Twice, Mesa Partners, Namely, Pinfluencer, Saving Star, Scopely, Shelby.tv, Social Flow, Social Touch, Tag Man, Copiuous, Social Leverage, Pixel Optics, CeltixConnect, Hill Country BBQ, Poblano Partners, SVAngel, GGV Capital, Have to Have, IA Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Nest.io, RayV, Peoplelinx.
Since January of 2010, Lazerow has funded all his personal tech investments through Lazerow Ventures. The fund, which he manages with his brother, John, and wife, Kass, has invested in several high profile venture firms and companies.
Tagman (exit), Tumblr (exit), AppBoy, Mashable, mParticle, Bottlenose, Facebook, IA Ventures, Lerer Ventures
Image credit: OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Alexis Ohanian co-founded Reddit with his friend, Steve Huffman in 2005. A Y Combinator accelerator alum, Reddit is a social news media site that was acquired by Conde Nast in 2006, making Ohanian a multimillionaire at the age of 23. He and Huffman built Reddit with web links and texts submitted by users. It took the pair three weeks to build.
Ohanian is now a partner at YCombinator, and also founded investment firm Das Kapital Capital, and has made investment in over 100 startups. Yeah, he’s an active investor, all right.
Maker’s Row, Hullabalu, Virool, Svbtle, ParkWhiz, Kamcord, SmartThings, Eponym, 42Floors, Instacart, Clever, Upworthy, Streak, LendUp, Amicus, Rap Genius, Double Robotics, Perceptual Networks, Coinbase, Monogram, OrderAhead, Meteor, Directr, VHX, Codecademy, Hipmunk, Creative Market, PlanGrid, Exec, Crowdtilt, Priceonomics, Couple, Socialcam, SendHub, CircuitHub, Quarterly, Ridejoy, GetGoing, Swiftype, Tutorspree, Track.by, MinoMonsters, Comprehend Systems, Kicksend, Tagstand, Airtime, General Assembly, Sift Science, E la Carte, Snapjoy, Gobble, COLOURlovers, Grubwithus, Massive Health, Blueleaf, Artsy, Blue Frog Gaming, WakeMate, Adioso, Voxli, Wattvision, Foodoro, Frogmetrics, Enernetics, Evernote.
Image credit: CC by Ketchum PR
Angel investor and entrepreneur Kal Vepuri has funded or acquired over 60 businesses through The Trisiras Group, his personal direct investment vehiclewhere he is both founder and chairman. He typically invests in 6 to 8 startups, at $150,000 to $500,000, a year. Vepuri’s work as an entrepreneur and investor spans from New York to Mumbai. And if you’re looking for some sage advice, says Vepuri, “A business is like a marriage, so pick a co-founder that you could really be married to. That would be my one piece of advice, because it’s really hard to raise a family with broken parents.”
Campus Job, ClassPass, SmartThings, Karma, ChatID, DuckDuckGo, SeatGeek, DoodleDeals, WarbyParker, TaskRabbit.
Image credit: Twitter
New York City born and raised, Peter Shankman is an author, entrepreneur, speaker, angel investor and worldwide connector. He is also the founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO), a group that helps journalists crowd source their needs by submitting queries to public relations professionals who refer them to experts on specific topics. The database provides journalists with more than 200,000 sources willing to be quoted in the media. In June 2010, Vocus, Inc., for whom Shankman served as vice president and small business evangelist, acquired HARO.
Shankman also founded and CEO of The Geek Factory Inc., a boutique social media, marketing and PR firm located in New York City. His clients have included American Express, Sprint, Snapple Beverage Group, the U.S. Department of Defense, New Frontier Media and Napster, among others.
Scottevest, Namely, Simplist, Snapgoods, Pixability
Image credit: CC by Thos Ballantyne
David S. Rose
Where do you start, when it comes to David S. Rose? He’s an Inc. 500 CEO, serial entrepreneur and so-called ‘super angel’ investor. He’s the founder and Chairman Emeritus of New York Angels, one of the world’s largest and most active and professional angel investment groups. He has led first round investments in a wide range of high growth companies. And as the founder and CEO of Gust and Managing Partner of Rose Tech Ventures, he still keeps his hand in entrepreneurship, helping shape the future of early stage finance by empowering both entrepreneurs and angel investors to collaborate in creating the companies of the future. And he recently launched digital.nyc.
Citia, Social Bicycles, Amicus
Image credit: About.Me
37 Angels is a community of women investors who are passionate about investing in early stage companies (male and female-led). With Angela Lee at the helm, the group sources high potential, cross-sector deals and coordinate due diligence for its Angels and Angels-In-Training to invest in.
That’s a lot of angel power!
All The Rooms, GoRecess, Board Vitals, HealthyOut, HeTexted, Kinsa, SkillBridge
Thomas Wisniewski is an active early stage investor and advisor to start-ups, venture capital, private equity and growth-stage companies. Co-manager at RosePaul Ventures, a family office in New York, and Partner at RosePaul Ventures, where he focuses on early stage technology investing, Wisniewski is also a member of the board of directors for New York Angels.
iCharts, MoveLine, SeamlessDocs
Image credit: Linkedin
Esther Dyson is an active investor in a variety of start-ups, focusing on technology. Her portfolio of private space and air travel investments includes XCOR Aerospace, Space Adventures/Zero G, Icon Aircraft, Coastal Aviation Software and Airship Ventures. She has flown weightless on Zero-G four times, but hopes to go up again soon.
She also is an active investor in health tech, and sits on the board of Blueprint Health,, and when she isn’t in Zero G somewhere or off in Russia or Silicon Valley, you may spot her at the New York Tech Meetup.
mxHero, Social Bicycles, Amicus, RewindMe, Apiary, SponsorHub, Outside.in, delicious, SkyGrid, Square
Image credit: Joi Ito
Jason Klein spells it out: he’s on a mission is to support the startup and growth of new businesses — and reinvention of legacy businesses — in ways that take full advantage of the ongoing digital transformation of media, information, and marketplaces. He’s certainly got his foot in the investing world, and a hand in two major angel investing groups: he’s founder and CEO of On Grid Ventures, an advisory and investment firm specializing in digital media and marketing, and a member of both the New York Angels and the Harvard Business School Angels of Greater NY.
72Lux, socialsign.in, AirXpanders
Image credit: OnGrid Ventures
Poland-born Avi Fogel is a very active member in two angel investment groups: New York Angels, the largest angel group in New York, where he runs the education program, and Launchpad Venture Group of Boston. He’s also a four-time CEO and has seen six exits in four startups: Lannet, CommHome, Network-1, and ProActivity. so he’s been there, done that. Not a bad person to have on your team. Or your advisory board.
Course Horse, Lannet, CommHome Systems, Network-1 Security Solutions, ProActivity
Image credit: Meetup
Founder and CEO of Lucas Point Ventures, Adam Quinton is an active investor in and advisor to early stage companies, with over 25 years of investing and management experience. He also sits on a number of for profit and not for profit Boards, including the Astia East Coast, and is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs.
The Muse, Rapt Media, Thrive Metrics, Consensus Point, Snaps!, VenueBook, EpiEP, NopSec, Hire and Esquire, Tactile Finance
Entrepreneur, builder, recovering philosopher and angel investor Amol Sarva co-founded Peek and Virgin Mobile USA. He is currently developing a new cognitive enhancement technology called Halo Neuro and an application for better discussions called Knotable.
You’ll often find him in the audience at the New York Tech Meetup. In case you were wondering where to find him, besides on social.
Jukely, Social Bicycles, KeyMe, Upverter
Image credit: Twitter
Dave Lerner is an angel investor with a knack for creating companies and couldn’t be more involved with the New York startup community if he tried. Dave is responsible for the Startup Genome, which maps early-stage investments and entrepreneurial ecosystems across the globe, as well as the healthcare company LLS, Inc.
He is Director of Entrepreneurship at Columbia University after seven years running Columbia’s Venture Lab, where he spun out 70+ technology startups based on university research. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School, where he teaches Launching New Ventures, the Greenhouse Program as well as Lean LaunchPad master classes with Steve Blank.
And now he has the Columbia Startup Lab to his credit as well.
Lerner is also an active organizer of entrepreneurship and venture capital events, serves as a mentor at TechStars, TechStars Kaplan, Entrepreneurs Roundtable, BluePrint Health, Endeavor, the Tory Burch Foundation and serves on the Board of New York Tech Meetup, as Board Member to the Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School, and as a Board Member of both the New York Venture Community and Columbia Venture Community. Did we mention that he’s also a very active angel investor with over 50+ investments?
Warby Parker, Clothes Horse, Contently, Food52, Skift, Keen Home, NumberFire, BottleNose.
Image credit: LinkedIn
John Ason is one of those angels who flies solo – and he’s often the lead investor in very early stage companies. If you want to know what he looks for in a pitch, it’s all there on his blog. He also mentors women entrepreneurs through Astia and Springboard, as well as women angel investors within Pipeline Fellowship, Topstone Angels, and 37angels. He has funded 11 female-founded companies.
Diapers.com (sold to Amazon), Off Track Planet, SiteSimon, Spling, DoodleDeals
Alicia Syrett is one active angel. She is founder and CEO of Pantegrion Capital, an angel investment firm that focuses on seed and early stage investments, and a member of several angel networks, including Golden Seeds and NY Angels.
She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of HeTexted, and is on the Advisory Boards of BeautyBooked and I-ELLA.
Syrett is a frequent speaker on panels for various startup organizations in New York City as well as for the entrepreneurship programs at NYU and Columbia..
SureDone, BeautyBooked, HeTexted, Rapt Media, Little Passports, I-ELLA, Trusted hands
Image credit: Angel List
Angel investor, start-up coach, entrepreneur and Co-Chairman, Evaluation Committee, ARC Angel Fund, Jeffrey Finkle has worked in investing for over 25 years in the New York metropolitan area and invests in about four seed and early-stage companies with high growth potential per year, at $50,000-$100,000.
And FYI: When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, he was so moved by its impact on people’s lives that he and fellow ARC Angel investors worked with Sandy Baggers, an organization for post-Sandy relief and recovery efforts, to help clean up some of the heavily flooded areas.
eBay, Medivo, Shopping.com, MyNines
Joshual Stylman is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in the digital world for two decades.
Betaworks, Bit.ly, Kitchensurfing, Union Square Ventures, Kickstarter, AngelList, Chartbeat, GroupMe
Charles Smith got into investing and the startup community in the mid-90s because he wanted to “give back in a way that scaled beyond my personal time.” Since then, he has gone on to invest in over a dozen companies, and has worked for and sat on the boards of ten more. He founded Extension Entertainment, a social music discovery platform. He is the owner of The Ineo Group LLC, which develops workforce mobility software. He spent three years as the vice president of Etsy Inc., ten months as the vice president of sales at Tacoda and executive vice president of corporate development and planning at RealMedia.
He invests in about eight startups per year at $25k-$50k each.
“I am much more comfortable with people whose desire is not to be an entrepreneur but to change the world,” he says.
And now you know.
Maker’s Row, Little Borrowed Dress, Lover.ly, NumberFire, Shelby.tv, Nestio, Days by Wander, Le Tote, Have to Have
Keep up with Charles:
First and foremost, he likes to invest in disruptive technologies. And to mentor entrepreneurs. Not surprising, considering how involved he is in investment community, and two very good things to know.
Sociocast, Localytics, TripleLift, PublicStuff, Wymsee, Media Armor, SureDone, HeTexted
Image credit: Twitter