The Other Side of the Table

After an incredible four years, I’m celebrating closing this chapter in venture at Bloomberg Beta and welcoming my next adventure as Partner for Fundraising & Admissions at On Deck.

The very good humans at Bloomberg Beta

Six years ago, I was eager to break into the world of startups, but I lived in New York and worked in financial services; Silicon Valley seemed out of reach. For two years, I read all the books, packed my free time with tech meetups, wrote cold emails to founders, and even flew to San Francisco to meet with operators who were gracious enough to answer my questions.

Then I met Roy Bahat at Bloomberg Beta, who recognized my gumption and took a chance on me. He, along with Karin Klein and James Cham, invited me into the world of venture capital. During my four years at Bloomberg Beta, I’ve had the privilege of investing in and working with an exceptional group of founders creating the future of work; building relationships with some of the smartest domain experts across enterprise software, machine learning, robotics; and perhaps most importantly, learning from standout peers and mentors on what it means to be a good investor and put #foundersfirst.

One of those exceptional startups is On Deck, where talented individuals come together to test ideas and accelerate their careers, all with the support of a community of peers. It’s the exact community I would have wanted for myself six years ago.

I met Erik, David, Brandon, Julian, and many others at On Deck’s first founder retreat. The caliber of the group was stunning. We were 50 former and current founders, experienced builders, investors, all of whom wanted to share ideas, offer feedback, and encourage each other on our future pursuits. It was electric.

When David, Erik, and team wanted to expand On Deck into a new kind of educational institution, I wanted to invest and be a part of it. It hit home on something I had spent years thinking about — the power of a shared learning experience with a tight group of like-minded peers, where an education is less about earning a degree and more about finding connections with those who will grow with you, vouch for you, and perhaps one day invest in you.

Since becoming #proudinvestors in their seed and Series A, I’ve only become more excited about where On Deck is headed (you can read about it at their Series A memo). I’m STOKED to be joining them as a Partner across Fundraising & Admissions. I’ll be working with Barry Conrad and Vikram Rajagopalan to curate amazing builders to bring into the On Deck community and help them raise capital. As the tradecraft of startup building becomes more accessible, and the influx of capital results in a barbell effect in venture, it will be increasingly important for great founders to have community and scale how they find the right investors.

So if you’re a founder in the On Deck community, send me a note at minn@beondeck.com and share what we can do to help you find your next collaborator, investor, or new hire. If you’re thinking about what’s next for you and seeking a world-class community to support you, apply to one of our fellowships and experience it for yourself.

Thank you to the Bloomberg Beta team for being a consistent sounding board and to the On Deck team for welcoming me so warmly. Onwards! 🚀

On Deck’s first founder retreat — May 2019

Investor @Bloombergbeta | ever-curious | Find me @minney_cat