Venture investor Charlie O’Donnell, who has worked with First Round Capital as well as Union Ventures, is launching a new Brooklyn-based VC firm to provide small seed funds, especially to Brooklyn startups.
“It is the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn–the city’s most exciting and creative borough…,” O’Donnell explained in his blog. “By some estimates, 50 to 60 percent of New York’s startup community lives in Brooklyn…. It has grown to be a dynamic place to build a company- and has the potential to be the very best place in the world to start a technology business.”
O’Donnell is looking to raise a $10 to 20 million fund, Venturebeat reported.
O’Donnell said the new fund will lead or co-lead seed deals. “I don’t like the idea of telling an entrepreneur to go get someone else interested and then I’ll be able to commit,” he said.
O’Donnell said he wants to be the kind of investor that startups feel free to call, as well as an early and decisive leader.
While the new firm won’t be solely focused on Brooklyn, it’s a place O’Donnell calls home and it will naturally get special attention.
“Given that many of the companies I work with don’t even have offices yet, and that many of their founders and future employees live in Brooklyn, I won’t be surprised of the majority of the fund winds up being invested in Brooklyn startups,” O’Donnell said. “…However, my goal is not to geographically limit the fund but to help create and leverage an ecosystem that connects and attracts talent and knowledge in such a way that people all over the city want to be a part of it. …I’ll fund deals elsewhere for sure, but I hope to convince folks that you won’t want to be elsewhere.”
O’Donnell got high marks from Union Square’s Fred Wilson, who told TechCrunch, “Charlie is pure Brooklyn hustle. It’s fantastic to see him focusing on the growing Brooklyn tech community. …Nobody is better suited to catalyze the Brooklyn tech community and seed it with startup capital than Charlie O’Donnell.”