In the first tech boom of the 1990s, investment was about getting money in the hands of entrepreneurs. As that first boom aged, the savvier among them began expecting mentorship to be a given for early-stage investment. Today, the trend is all about connecting a portfolio to strengthen it.
“That’s capital, counsel and community,” said David Freschman, the venture capitalist and longtime presence in Mid-Atlantic investor circles.
He’s a managing partner in Innovation Ventures and the Delaware Innovation Fund, where he is based in Wilmington, but also done deals in Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, where is part of the Arc Angel Fund. He also founded in 2009 FashInvest, a news resource for the intersection of fashion and technology.
He’s likely best known as the founder of Early Stage East, the collection of venture conferences and angel pitch events from Baltimore to New York that he’s run since 1998.
Why does an investor have so many side projects, from events to news and mega-region networking? “Deal flow and influence in the marketplace,” he said.
It’s given him a unique perspective on the Northeast corridor, watching where the excitement has moved, today being led by the New York engine but strengthening in Philadelphia, where he spends much of his time, and elsewhere — he said from 1995 to 2002 that “Baltimore was the most active venture community on the East Coast.”
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