Fred Wilson (financier)
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Fred Wilson 2009
|Born||August 20, 1961|
|Residence||New York City|
|Alma mater||MIT, Wharton School|
|Known for||Venture Capital, Blogging|
Fred Wilson (born August 20, 1961) is a New York City-based venture capitalist and blogger. Wilson is the co-founder of Union Square Ventures, a New York City-based venture capital firm with investments in Web 2.0 companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Zynga, Kickstarter, and 10gen.
In 1996 Wilson and Jerry Colonna, his partner, founded Flatiron Partners, which was named after the Flatiron District. Based in New York City, it grew into an investment fund that focused primarily on follow-on investing, with investments in notable dot-com bubble successes and failures, including Alacra, comScore Networks, Yoyodyne, Geocities, Kozmo.com, New York Times Digital, PlanetOut, Return Path, Scout electromedia, Standard Media International, Starmedia, and VitaminShoppe.com. The firm's 1996 fund capitalized at $150 million with two investors: SOFTBANK Technology Ventures and Chase Capital Partners, the private-equity arm of Chase Manhattan Corp. The firm later raised another fund capitalized at $500 million with Chase Capital Partners as the sole active LP. In 2001 Wilson and Colonna essentially shut down Flatiron (although they still manage what remains of its portfolio). Wilson offered a blunt assessment in July 2005 in Business 2.0, "Yeah, boy, we really screwed up a bunch of things". Prior to cofounding Flatiron, he was at Euclid Partners.
In 2004 Wilson and Brad Burnham founded Union Square Ventures and have since invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Bug Labs, Meetup, Zynga, Covestor, del.icio.us, Etsy, FeedBurner, Heyzap, Indeed.com, Tacoda, Oddcast, Disqus, Zemanta, and Clickable. TheFunded.com, a social networking site for technology entrepreneurs, rated him their favorite venture capitalist in 2007.
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Wilson publishes a blog called AVC: musings of a VC in NYC. Wilson publishes one post per day, almost always on a topic related to venture capital, entrepreneurship or the Internet.
Wilson is married with three children and lives in New York City. One of his daughters attends Wesleyan University. He has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is an active philanthropist and community advocate having worked on initiatives including the redevelopment of Union Square and Madison Square in New York City. He is also a board member of DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that connects individuals to classrooms in need. Currently, Wilson is involved in the Pier 40 Partnership.
- Lau, Debra (May 17, 2001). "Flatiron Partners Called Back Home". Forbes. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Greene, Bob (Spring 2001). "Flatiron Partners: Presentation to MIT" (PPT). Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- Heilemann, John (July 1, 2005). "Start Spreading the News". Business 2.0 (CNN Money). Retrieved 2008-03-04.
- "A New Kind of Venture Capitalist Makes Small Bets on Young Firms", New York Times September 21, 2008, a short profile of Union Square Ventures and Fred Wilson
- "MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF NYC BIGAPPS 2.0 COMPETITION". NYC.gov. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Anderson, Lincoln (October 3, 2007). "Parents group means business on Pier 40’s future". The Villager. Retrieved 2012-04-13.