Note: For what ever reason, a few people have misconstrued that somehow this means I'm less involved in Picturelife. As I point out below, a primary reason I am doing this is because I live Picturelife 24/7. I don't think I'd be a good investor if I wasn't a fulltime entrepreneur -- and so I always will be.
Since 2006, I’ve invested much of my life into startups. Much of that journey has been documented here, on this blog.
But, many of you don’t know that my family has been investing in startups since the 1970s. It began with my grandpa Bob and great uncle Charles, and, since 1997, our family investments have been led by my dad, Dick Westheimer.
Today, we’re proud to announce a new seed-stage investment fund called Red Bud Partners, focused on New York and focusing on what we’re calling “networked technology.” (More on that in a minute.)
Red Bud will be co-managed by Dick and me, and while we’ll be considering investments in Cincinnati and elsewhere in the world, our primary focus will be in New York City, where I work, live, and organize in startups 24/7. Though it may change in the future, we’re starting small, making our average investment size $25,000.
We believe there are several reasons why this is the perfect time to start a small fund in New York, and why we bring a unique combination of experience and insight to potential investments. We’ve already made one (unannounced) investment from this fund (and a number of investments from other vehicles) and can’t wait to add more to the portfolio.
My dad, Dick, can be an executive’s or Board’s best friend. His steady hand has helped several startups succeed through challenging acquisitions and survive through hard times. It’s uncommon to have an angel investor who both wants to dive in and help you build financial models and coach you as you grow and learn the ropes as an executive.
Meanwhile, I provide the unique value to a startup that I wake up, eat, sleep and breathe a startup of my own. I know what entrepreneurs go through not only because I’ve done it before, but because I’m also doing it now.
We believe in and understand deeply the fundamentals of the early stage market here and what makes it work. Despite what some may fear, after a few years such explosive growth, our industry rests on an incredible foundation: its “maker” community. The best successes in New York have been from folks to make things and hustle to make their companies succeed. The supply of interesting people making worthwhile things in New York has only increased over the past few years and they will power our industry for years to come.
Above I mentioned our thesis is to invest in “networked technology.” This idea comes from my observation over the past few years that “information technology” and “web technology” no longer describe everything that’s interesting. “Networked Technology” encompass not only incredible new web and mobile technology, but also the array of new hardware projects which are springing up showing great promise to change the world we live in. We want to invest in all of it.
Reaching out is not difficult. Both Dick and I can be reached at our first names @redbud.vc, my blog has a contact form that goes straight into my email, and, as always, you can just show up at my weekly office hours if that’s what suits you.
We can’t wait to meet you!