Silicon Alley: New York Venture Capital

Silicon Alley: Is calling New York City 'The Next Big Thing' premature? New York venture capitalists will discuss the competitive advantages of being located in New York and how they have strategically positioned themselves to win deals while competing with longstanding West Coast VC firms.


Jared Grusd '06

Head of Global Corporate Development and General Counsel, Spotify

Jared has served as a senior executive at three of the world's most innovative companies: Spotify, AOL, and Google. He is the Head of Corporate Development and General Counsel of Spotify, the former Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer of AOL, and a former member of the executive team responsible for Google's multi-billion dollar advertising business. He was named by BusinessInsider to the Silicon Alley 100, and by Fortune/CNNMoney to "tech's five most powerful lawyers."

Jared is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, a mentor at TechStars, and a board member/advisor to several venture-backed start-up. Jared serves on the EU Media Futures Forum, a think tank set up by the European Commission to improve the Europe’s media industry.

Jared received a MBA from Columbia Business School, a JD, with Honors, from University of Chicago Law School, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.



David Aronoff

General Partner, Flybridge

David is a General Partner at the firm whose investment interests and experience include the SaaS, cloud, mobile, data analytics, video and information security sectors. David currently manages the firm's New York City office and sits on the boards Flybridge portfolio companies Better Cloud, Immedia Semiconductor, Sand9, and T2 Biosystems. He was previously a board observer at JouleX, and a director at Blackwave, CHiL Semiconductor (acquired by International Rectifier) Crashlytics (acquired by Twitter) and MOBIVOX (acquired by SabSe). Prior to joining the firm in June 2005, David spent nearly a decade focusing on early-stage investing at Greylock Partners and held management roles at Chipcom, an enterprise network equipment vendor where he led development efforts in Ethernet bridges, switches and routers. While working full-time on his MBA, David co-founded the Attitude Network (acquired by, an Internet content startup with the top two game sites of the day, and Earlier in his career he held technical positions at Bell Labs where he developed secure network systems.

David holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Vermont, cum laude and with college honors, an MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.


Roger Ehrenberg '93

Founder and Managing Partner, IA Ventures

Roger Ehrenberg is the founder and Managing Partner of IA Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm investing in companies that create competitive advantage through data.

Roger currently sits on the boards of DataSift, Metamarkets, PlaceIQ, Sight Machine, Simple, The Trade Desk, TransferWise and Twice, and is a Board observer of MemSQL and SavingStar. Formerly, he served on the boards of Buddy Media, Recorded Future, Global Bay Mobile Technologies, Magnetic and Selerity.

Prior to forming IA Ventures, Roger was an active angel investor through IA Capital Partners, a seed-stage investment firm focused on digital media and financial technology. From 2004 to 2009, Roger seeded 40 companies, including Bitly, Buddy Media (acquired by Salesforce), Clickable (acquired by Syncapse), Invite Media (acquired by Google), Magnetic, TicketFly, TheLadders, TubeMogul, and TweetDeck (acquired by Twitter).

Earlier in his career, Roger served as President and CEO of DB Advisors, Deutsche Bank's internal hedge fund trading platform. Before DB Advisors, Roger was Global Co-head of Deutsche Bank's Strategic Equity Transactions Group. As an Investment Banker and Managing Director at Citibank, Roger held a variety of roles in the Global Derivatives, Capital Markets, Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Structuring groups.

Roger holds an MBA in Finance, Accounting and Management from Columbia Business School and a BBA in Finance, Economics and Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan.


Stuart Ellman

Founding Partner, RRE Ventures

Stuart founded RRE Ventures with close friend and business school classmate Jim Robinson IV in 1994. RRE Ventures is a leading early stage New York-based venture capital firm. In its 18 years of operation, RRE has raised five funds with over $1 billion under management and has invested in over 200 companies. Stuart currently serves as a director of Betaworks, Business Insider, Kroll Bond Ratings, Payfone, RecycleBank, Shake, and Barkbox. Prior to founding RRE, Stuart began his career at McKinsey and Company. He later worked at Dillon, Read & Co. as a Financial Analyst and at Morgan Stanley as an Associate. He also co-founded and served as Vice President of Advisory Capital Partners.
 Stuart holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard University and a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University where he was a Gilbert Clee Scholar and a Horace White Fellow. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, two kids, and one spoiled black cat.


David Pakman

Partner, Venrock

As a Partner at Venrock in New York, David focuses on early stage venture investing in internet and digital media companies. His active investments include Dstillery (formerly Media6Degrees), Smartling, Klout, Dollar Shave Club and Burner. He also served on the Board of Crunchyroll, acquired by The Chernin Group. Previously, Pakman was the CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes in number of downloads sold. After buying eMusic from Vivendi Universal, in the three years that Pakman ran it, he grew the business by more than 850%, from $7M in revenues to more than $68M. Pakman transformed the business from an obscure also-ran with 50,000 subscribers to the second largest digital music retailer in the world, with more than 400,000 subscribers and more than 12% market share. 

Prior to joining eMusic, Pakman was Co-Founder and President of Business Development and Public Policy at Myplay, Inc., the company he co-founded in 1999 in Redwood City, CA that introduced the “digital music locker” and pioneered the locker category. In 2001, Myplay was sold to Bertelsmann’s ecommerce Group. Before Myplay, he was Vice President at N2K Entertainment, which created the first digital music download service. He also was the co-creator of Apple Computer’s Music Group.

Pakman is a graduate of and a former member of the Board of Overseers at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science with a degree in Computer Science Engineering and is an avid musician and songwriter. He serves on the Board of Trustees of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies and holds a board seat with the New York Venture Capital Association. He testified in front of Congress regarding internet webcasting royalty rates in December of 2012.


Micah Rosenbloom

Partner, Founder Collective

Micah is a Venture Partner at Founder Collective, leading the fund's seed investment activity in NYC. Micah has been both a seed investor, advisor and Board Member to a dozen companies since 2007 including Opower, ThinkNear (sold to TeleNav) and Plated. Over Micah's 13 years in start-ups, he co-founded 3 tech ventures, and has raised over $40M in venture capital from top investors. Most recently, he founded Sample6 Technologies – a Boston-based company building a diagnostic and monitoring platform for harmful bacteria in food and healthcare. Before that, he co-founded Brontes Technologies, a company that developed a real-time 3D imaging system based on MIT technology that is now a dominant product in the dental industry. Brontes sold in 2006 to 3M corp. His first business,, was one of the first consumer web start-ups to enable consumers to book everything from carpet cleaners to hair salon appointments online. Most interestingly, however, Micah's first job out of college was working for the Endeavor Talent Agency, subject of the TV show, "Entourage."

Micah has a BS from Cornell and MBA from Harvard Business School.