Jerry Colonna (financier)
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|Known for||Venture capital, Coaching|
Jerry Colonna was a venture capitalist in New York City and played a prominent part in the early development of Silicon Alley. He is the recipient of numerous awards and a compelling speaker on topics ranging from leadership to starting businesses. Colonna has been named to Upside magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People of the New Economy, Forbes ASAP's list of the best VCs in the country, and Worth's list of the 25 most generous young Americans. He is currently a life and business coach and serves as chairman on the Board of Trustees at Naropa University.
Brooklyn-raised Colonna was 11 years old when his dad, a proofreader for a typesetting company, lost his longtime job as computers entered the printing business. After graduating from Edward R. Murrow High School Colonna worked to put himself through Queens College, and was just about to withdraw because he could not afford the tuition when a professor found him a scholarship that included an internship at CMP Media, publisher of Information Week. Colonna went on to graduate with a B.A. in English Literature.
Having taken on the internship, Colonna soon became a success at CMP Media Inc., and by the age of 25 was editor, going on to found the company's interactive group. He left CMP to join his first venture firm, CMG@Ventures L.P., in 1995 as a founding partner. CMG@Ventures L.P. was the first Internet-specific venture firm, and began with a funding pool of $35 million.
With his partner, Fred Wilson, Jerry launched Flatiron Partners in August 1996. Flatiron became one of the most successful, investment programs in the New York City area, growing 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, Gamesville Inc, 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 Colonna and Wilson shut down Flatiron.
Subsequent to Flatiron, Colonna was with JPMorgan Chase, and he was named co-Executive Director of NYC2012, an organization representing New York City in the competition to host the 2012 Olympic Games. In that year, he helped raise more than $6 million to further those efforts. On July 2, 2001, Colonna was named to the Advisory Board of Silicon Alley Entrepreneurs Club. After the 9/11 attacks, Colonna worked with The Partnership for the City of New York to launch the Financial Recovery Fund, an $11 million grant- and loan-making fund set up to help small businesses impacted by the attacks and the subsequent economic difficulties in Lower Manhattan.
In his role as a professional coach, Colonna is often known for his unique teachings on entrepreneurship and business psychology. Most notable is the 'Crucible of Leadership', a philosophy allowing leaders to embrace extreme challenges (as opposed to avoidance) and taking time to discover the 'self' through introspection. Colonna is also a firm believer in separation of enterprise (business) and the persona, which he notes to be a common mistake of entrepreneurs. He argues that founders who merge with their business ultimately cause their self-esteem and identity to be dependent on the company success, which is especially dangerous if the enterprise fails. He believes his views are best exemplified by the following equation:
Practical skill development + Radical Self Inquiry + Peer support = Enhanced Leadership & Greater Resiliency.
His teachings and work are highly influenced by his studies in Buddhism.
Colonna splits his time between New York and Boulder. He lives in Port Washington, L.I. with his family. 
He has served as a Director of a number of non-profit organizations including Pencil (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning), The Queens College Foundation, Exploring the Arts Inc., Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, and Shambhala Mountain Center.
- "The Best VCs". Forbes. May 29, 2000. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "Jerry Colonna - 2001 - 40 under forty". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "Jerry Colonna: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg Businessweek. April 2, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Post". mixergy. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- Greene, Bob (Spring 2001). "Flatiron Partners: Presentation to MIT" (PPT).
- Heilemann, John (July 1, 2005). "Start Spreading the News". Business 2.0 (CNN Money).
- "Jerry Colonna". Unreasonable Institute Mentors. Unreasonable Institute. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "The Management Team - Guest Post". AVC. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- "Jerry Colonna - Life Coach". We Are NY Tech. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- Colonna's page on his coaching business
- Jerry Colonna, Finance Capital Expert, Inc.com
- 40 under 40
- Findarticles.com[dead link]