With the growing popularity of tech investing among actors and athletes, it's no surprise that some celebrities are taking it to the next level by launching their own VC firms. But real VC professionals will tell you that it takes more than money and star appeal to manage a portfolio of startups.
In addition to fundraising, there are other critical elements that help venture partners guide startups to success, including management experience, operational expertise and deep networks.
Since 2001, the nascent asset class has been rocked by the burst of the tech bubble and then the recession. In 2013, 56 VC firms launched in the U.S., an all time low since 2004. Despite the unsteady world of fundraising, some VC professionals are still leaving cushy posts at established firms to set up their own shops.
Charlie O’Donnell pulled this move when he launched Brooklyn Bridge Ventures in 2012. After earning his stripes at Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital, he decided to start his firm because it was his sole career goal to make investment decisions on his own.
His new firm may be dwarfed by powerhouses like Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital in terms of capital and manpower. But Brooklyn Bridge Ventures’ sharpest competitive edge may be its founder and sole partner's entrepreneurial spirit. In this interview, he describes how running his own one-man firm gives him unique perspective on value creation.