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Brooklyn Gets Its First Venture Capital Firm

The Brooklyn tech community got a big boost today as Brooklyn Bridge Ventures announced it’s launch as the first Venture Capital firm to be based in Brooklyn. Charlie O’Donnell, founder of the firm, says that Brooklyn is the best place in the world to start a tech company and we couldn’t agree more.

TechCrunch reported: A new venture firm is launching in Silicon Alley today. VC Charlie O’Donnell, who has worked as at both First Round Capital and Union Square Ventures, is launching his own venture firm today, New York-based Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.

O’Donnell says that Brooklyn Bridge Ventures will make investments in early and seed stage technology companies in the “Greater Brooklyn Area” (which includes Manhattan and other boroughs) across a variety of information technology sectors. The fund will also be looking to lead or co-lead seed rounds.

Previously, O’Donnell worked as an institutional investor evaluating venture capital funds before joining Union Square Ventures in 2005 as the firm’s first analyst. In 2006, he founded nextNY, which has run over 50 events on entrepreneurship and startup education and networking. He also served on the original board of the New York Tech Meetup, and is one of the meetup’s first 100 members. He also co-founded Path 101.

In 2009, O’Donnell joined First Round Capital, where he sourced First Round’s Investment in GroupMe, which sold to Skype in 2011. Other deals that O’Donnell has worked on for First Round include Refinery29, chloe + isabel, Backupify, SinglePlatform, Salescrunch and Docracy.

Union Square’s Fred Wilson said of O’Donnell and his new firm: “Charlie is pure Brooklyn hustle. It’s fantastic to see him focusing on the growing Brooklyn tech community. Startups are sprouting up in Greenpoint, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn, and Red Hook and probably in other neighborhoods too. Nobody is better suited to catalyze the Brooklyn tech community and seed it with startup capital than Charlie O’Donnell.”

For the launch, Charlie put together a video highlighting a number of Brooklyn based start-up success stories – including DUMBO’s own Etsy, Loosecubes, Howaboutwe, the NYU Poly Incubator and Join Bklyn. The leaders of these companies all make it clear that the creativity and entreprenureal spirit of this borough is why they are here. It’s a huge draw for their employees, many of whom are Brooklynites as well. Watch the video for yourself below.


Made In Brooklyn from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures on Vimeo.

Photo via “Made In Brooklyn” by Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.