Fred Wilson (financier)

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Fred Wilson
Fred Wilson 2009
Born (1961-08-20) August 20, 1961 (age 62)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania
Known forBlogging, venture capital

Fred Wilson (born August 20, 1961) is an American businessman, 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, Etsy and MongoDB.[1]


Fred Wilson began his career as an associate and then became a General Partner at Euclid Partners. He worked at Euclid Partners from 1987 to 1996.[citation needed]

In 1996 Wilson and Jerry Colonna began Flatiron Partners, which was named after the Flatiron District.[citation needed] 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,, The New York Times Digital, PlanetOut, Return Path, Scout electromedia, Standard Media International, Starmedia, Favemail, and[2] 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.[3] In 2001 Wilson and Colonna shut down Flatiron.[4]

In 2004 Wilson and Brad Burnham founded Union Square Ventures., a social networking site for technology entrepreneurs, rated him their favorite venture capitalist in 2007.[5]

Wilson has served as a judge for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC BigApps competition in NYC.[6]


Wilson publishes a blog called AVC: musings of a VC in NYC.[7] Wilson publishes one post per day, usually on a topic related to venture capital entrepreneurship or the Internet.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson attended high school at James I. O'Neill High School. Wilson is married to Joanne Wilson, a prominent angel investor and author of the Gotham Gal blog.[9] They have three children and live in New York City and Venice Beach. All of his children attended Wesleyan University.

Wilson has a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[10]

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.[citation needed] He is also a board member of, an online charity that connects individuals to classrooms in need. Currently, Wilson is involved in the Pier 40 Partnership.[11]


  1. ^ "Top venture capitalist Fred Wilson reveals why he's investing in media while others are fleeing: 'I like to zig when other people zag'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Lau, Debra (May 17, 2001). "Flatiron Partners Called Back Home". Forbes. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  3. ^ Greene, Bob (Spring 2001). "Flatiron Partners: Presentation to MIT" (PPT). Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  4. ^ Heilemann, John (July 1, 2005). "Start Spreading the News". Business 2.0. CNN Money. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  5. ^ "A New Kind of Venture Capitalist Makes Small Bets on Young Firms", The New York Times September 21, 2008, a short profile of Union Square Ventures and Fred Wilson
  6. ^ "MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF NYC BIGAPPS 2.0 COMPETITION". 31 March 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Top 20 VC Power Bloggers of 2010", TechCrunch January 19, 2011,
  8. ^ "VC Blogs You Should Follow (And Why): Fred Wilson", Forbes December 18, 2012
  9. ^ [dead link]Wilson: The Gotham Gal who invests in women Entrepreneurship "[permanent dead link], PandoDaily April 16, 2013,
  10. ^ "About / Fred Wilson". USV Fred Wilson bio page. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  11. ^ Anderson, Lincoln (October 3, 2007). "Parents group means business on Pier 40's future". The Villager. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved April 13, 2012.

External links[edit]