Josh Kopelman called 'richest man in town,' among most networked venture capitalist - Philly


Jul. 1, 2009 8:30 am

Josh Kopelman called ‘richest man in town,’ among most networked venture capitalist

First Round Capital investor Josh Kopelman was reportedly put off by the label of being called the wealthiest self-made person in Philadelphia by an author. But the attention is well deserved.

Josh Kopelman is apparently not entirely comfortable with being a big shot.

The entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, who made his name on the back of the $355 million sale of his creation to eBay in 2000, has been a bit of a big fish in an underdeveloped Philadelphia pond for some time now. But he doesn’t always take adulation so warmly.

Kopelman was reportedly put off by the label of the wealthiest self-made person in Philadelphia, author W. Randall Jones told the Inquirer. For his new book, the Richest Man in Town, Jones traveled to 100 U.S. cities to collect business wisdom from those atop the income brackets in their towns and found Kopelman to be our pick of the litter.

“He was very upset with me,” Jones told the Inqy.

While Kopelman may have disliked the thought of being placed above a host of the city’s billionaire’s boys club, it’s not the only big call he’s gotten this week.

As we tweeted, Silicon Valley blog TechCrunch called Kopelman’s West Conshohocken-based FirstRound Capital, which also has San Francisco offices, the fourth most networked venture capital firm in the country.

Here’s the science behind the rankings from TC:

Vijay Dondeti, a graduate student in bioinformatics, applied the analysis in the Hochberg paper to about 2,700 investors in CrunchBase who participated in over 3,300 startup funding rounds between 2006 and 2008. He scored each investor based on how well connected they are to other investors as well as how well-connected their co-investors are to other investors. �In summary,� says Dondeti, �to get a high score, you need to co-invest often with others that also co-invest often.� [Source]


It’s hard to overstate what that means for the region. With news that Ben Franklin Technology Partners is on the state budget chopping block, early stage funding becomes vital. FirstRound certainly invests heavily outside our region, but it’s still a serious international VC firm just a regional rail ride from Center City.

And that’s some attention that Kopelman will have to tolerate.

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