Co-Founder + Seed Fund = Acceleration

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: JumpPost, startups, venture capital | Tags: , , , , |

So, yesterday I mentioned that we “pre-launched” JumpPost.  I will get back to more theoretical/functional analysis on this blog tomorrow, but I’ve been dying to share the following additional news:

1)      I am super excited to introduce my new(ish) co-founder, Doug Petkanics.  Doug was the technical lead on the founding team at Frogmetrics (Y-Combinator & Founders Fund backed analytics company).  I spent 6 months recruiting and waiting to bring on the right partner, and couldn’t be more excited and pleased to have Doug on board.  In short, he borders on genius…so that’s nice.

2)      I am equally excited to share the news that I have become a Venture Partner at Lerer Media Ventures (LMV).  JumpPost has relocated to Betaworks, with whom LMV shares space, and we are excited to build our company on top of the fund’s platform (see previous post on the value of a platform).  Check out our new digs:

Of these two pieces of news, the first one doesn’t require a hell of a lot of explanation.  Of any decision we have made in the last 6 months, the decision around recruiting a co-founder was by far the most important in the trajectory of our company.  I wrote previously about patience in this process, and how I decided to execute without a technical co-founder until a true superstar emerged…that strategy panned out.

The second piece of news regarding my role in our new seed fund is worth exploring in more detail.  It is not common for a full time CEO to take on the role I have at a venture fund, but there is some precedent.  Rich Barton is the Chairman & CEO of Zillow and a Venture Partner at Benchmark Capital.  Toni Schneider is a Venture Partner at True Ventures and is concurrently the CEO of Automattic (creator of WordPress).  I’m actually pretty sure that Tony Conrad and Om Malik are also both Venture Partners at True and running Sphere and GigaOm respectively.  Chris Dixon is CEO of Hunch and a Partner in Founder Collective, and my guess is if I kept digging the list would grow.  If done properly, this setup can be hugely accretive to a CEO’s efforts.  If done improperly, it poses the risk of distraction.

The second analog that has some similarities to what I’m doing would be an Entrepreneur in Residence program.  The New York Times actually just wrote a great piece examining the theory behind an EIR program.  The benefits described in that article are quite similar to those that JumpPost will enjoy through my participation in LMV.  The synergies between my fund activity and operational activity are primarily in the areas of recruiting, strategic direction, and fundraising.  Let’s explore each:

1)      Recruiting: ~30% of the founders that pitch us for seed funding are working on projects that will not exist in 9 months.  Building a map of talent in New York, and getting to know great people working on not-so-great projects is hugely accretive to JumpPost (and the fund).

2)      Strategic/Product Direction: Many active CEO’s make angel investments or help invest venture funds for exposure to new data and thinking.  For example, when I meet with 5 companies raising capital that are pushing on the bleeding edge of Facebook Connect, their experiences inform how JumpPost approaches its Facebook strategy.  The stimulus and learning derived from early stage investing is an impossible advantage when building a company.

3)      Fundraising: I have for a number of years, and continue to share thinking with an incredible group of investors.  In a world where almost every deal we look at is syndicated, I am fortunate to get to think alongside some really bright investors (some of whom I didn’t previously know).

There are two major differences between my role as a Venture Partner and that of an EIR.  One, EIR’s are expected to leave the venture firms with whom they are spending time, whereas I have made a long term commitment to build and invest LMV with Ken and Ben.  Second, there is an expectation at the end of an EIR gig that the fund will invest in an EIR’s project.  It is entirely possible that JumpPost’s capital requirements will not be consistent with the thesis of our fund.  As such, there is no expectation of partnership between the fund and my company.

So, lots going on…first 30 days both working with Doug and working with the new fund have been awesome.  Life is good.

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12 Responses to “Co-Founder + Seed Fund = Acceleration”

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If you’ve got a company in mind that needs a little help meet tech talent in NYC (without recruiting agencies), send them over to http://hirelite.com – Speed Dating for the Hiring Process

congrats Jordan. great news all around.

[…] Co-Founder + Seed Fund = Acceleration « Jordan Cooper's Blog … You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Printed from: […]

cool news on both fronts. Hope the inventory-build process for JumpPost is going well.

I am so poud of you!!

slightly embarrassing mom 🙂

awwwww…. its like puppies and rainbows in my heart.

[…] Co-Founder + Seed Fund = Acceleration « Jordan Cooper's Blog: startups, venture capital, … […]

[…] Co-Founder + Seed Fund = Acceleration « Jordan Cooper's Blog: startups, venture capital, Jumppo… (tags: vc startup hr fund) […]

Excellent! Congrats, Jordan!

Congrats man!

Great Job! Keep up the good work Jordan.


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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com

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