Brooklyn Bridge Ventures Now Funding Early-Stage Startups in NYC

October 17, 2012

11:00 am

Launched in January, new venture capital firm Brooklyn Bridge Ventures raised $3.5 million in September. Partner Charlie O’Donnell hopes to raise a total of $10 million so he can make $150-350,000 investments in early-stage startups. Below, he gives the lowdown on his new firm for startups who might be looking for funding.

Tech Cocktail: What kinds of startups do you invest in? 

Charlie O’Donnell: Early ones! Everyone always asks for a more detailed answer than that, but I really do feel like most companies need the same basic stuff in the first year: hiring, PR, product/market fit – all things I can help with. If I had to eliminate a few things: early-stage pure content deals and anything that I needed to be a scientist to understand would be difficult for me.

Tech Cocktail: What is your investing philosophy? How do you choose investments? 

O’Donnell: I think my one lone skill in this entire world is judgement of character. The rest of it I suppose is some combination of pattern matching from my 11 years of industry experience – looking at venture deals as far back as 2001 – and following new market dynamics and models for success.  When all that is taken into considersation, I have this great dartboard…

Tech Cocktail: How do you take an active role in your investments? 

O’Donnell: I’ve placed about 30 people at startups in the last 2+ years, so hiring is a big factor. I also help companies with PR and media introductions as well as product management where appropriate. Sometimes, I just give them a good solid shoulder grab and tell them it’s going to be ok, perhaps offering a tissue. Whatever is needed.

Tech Cocktail: Why was there a need for another venture capital fund, or how is yours different?

O’Donnell: There wasn’t one. Mine is a replacement for one or two that will go away where the partners do little to no active work to actually help these companies, and the entrepreneurs now know about it.  🙂

Tech Cocktail: How has the NY tech scene been evolving recently? 

O’Donnell: Bigger, better, faster, stronger.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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