If you're a Wharton startup, you want to know this angel investor - Technical.ly Philly

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Apr. 14, 2015 8:34 am

If you’re a Wharton startup, you want to know this angel investor

Brett Hurt has a history of backing Wharton entrepreneurs. He was one himself back in 1999, when student entrepreneurship wasn't really a thing.
Brett Hurt at Shop.org’s Innovation and Strategy Forum, January 2008.

Brett Hurt at Shop.org's Innovation and Strategy Forum, January 2008.

(Photo by Flickr user @hyku, used under a Creative Commons license)

Austin, Texas-based angel investor Brett Hurt is one of ChargeItSpot’s newest investors, according to a Philadelphia Business Journal story. (The Center City cellphone charging station company closed a $3.2 million round last December and continues to fundraise. It also added a high profile advisor: Modell’s exec Deborah Fine. Fine, who was also on the board of suburban ecommerce company Pet360, declined to disclose if she was a ChargeItSpot investor.)

Hurt, who runs Hurt Family Investments, got his MBA from Wharton in 1999 — while in school, he founded a venture-backed startup that imploded when the bubble burst — and has a history of backing Wharton entrepreneurs. ChargeItSpot founder Doug Baldasare got his Wharton MBA in 2012; TalkLocal founder Manpreet Singh got his in 2009. Hurt Family Investments has also invested in Monetate (current CEO Lucinda Duncalfe got her Wharton MBA in 1991, though it’s not clear if Hurt invested in Monetate before she was appointed CEO last summer) and is a donor to the Wharton School’s Entrepreneur Fund, according to Hurt’s website.

Hurt was something of an anomaly while he was at Wharton, since most of his classmates eyed careers in banking and consulting. That has since changed, and Hurt wrote about witnessing that shift when he returned to Wharton as an entrepreneur-in-residence in 2013. (He does so every year, he told us.)

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He wrote:

The finale for my visit was so-called the “Power Dinner.” To my surprise, 250 students applied for the 12 spots to have dinner with me. I remember when entrepreneurs like Farhad Mohit, the founder of Bizrate and Shopzilla, visited our class. I was one of only 12 students that went to see Farhad speak. It was a brilliant and raw talk. He had been eating ramen noodle for a year but had finally just raised his Series A round. But there was little demand to see an entrepreneur like him speak during my time at Wharton. And now 250 applications for 12 spots? It made me excited for the future.

Read the whole post

We asked Hurt about his Wharton investment activity and here’s what he said, via email:

I’m impressed more and more each year with how the student entrepreneur quality improves. Wharton is getting better at both attracting great entrepreneurs-to-be and also at surrounding them with resources to making them successful post-graduation. It is a thrill to be a part of it now as an investor, as a successful entrepreneur and product of the Wharton system myself.

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