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.