Josh Kopelman

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Josh Kopelman
Josh Kopelman photo.jpg
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (B.S.)
Venture capitalist
Known forFounder of
SpouseRena Cohen
Parent(s)Carol and Dr. Richard Kopelman

Joshua Kopelman is an American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist.

Kopelman is best known as a founder of First Round Capital, a pioneering seed-stage venture fund that led the seed round in Uber. Josh has consistently been ranked as one of the top 20 Venture Capitalists in the world. Before founding First Round, Josh was a founder of, a fixed price marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of used books, movies and music products. In 2000, Kopelman sold to eBay.

Early life[edit]

Kopelman grew up in Great Neck, New York, the son of Carol and Dr. Richard Kopelman.[1] His father was a professor at Baruch College and his mother a real estate broker.[1] He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania[1] and graduated in 1993.[2]


Kopelman in 2016

In 1992, during his sophomore year, Kopelman co-founded Infonautics Corporation, in Wayne, Pennsylvania.[1] In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Kopelman left Infonautics in 1999 to found[3]

After selling to eBay, Kopelman remained with eBay for three years. In 2004, Josh co-founded TurnTide an anti-spam technology company that was acquired by Symantec.[4]

Kopelman in 2008

Josh is an inventor on sixteen U.S. Patents for his work in Internet technology.[5] Josh was ranked 3rd on the 2018 New York Times list of Top Venture Capitalists[6] and consistently ranks in the top 20 of the Forbes Midas List of the top 100 tech investors (#18 in 2011,[7] #6 in 2012,[8] #12 in 2013,[9] #11 in 2014,[10] #4 in 2015,[11] #6 in 2016,[12] #35 in 2017,[13] #19 in 2018,[14] #39 in 2019,[15] and #79 in 2020[16]). Josh has been named as one of the top ten ‘angel investors’ in the United States by Newsweek magazine,[17] one of "Tech's New Kingmakers" by Business 2.0 magazine[18] and a "Rising VC Star" by Fortune magazine.[19] Josh also is the proud winner of a second place ribbon in the 2011 Nantucket Watermelon Eating competition.[17]

Kopelman is currently Managing Director of First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture fund. He is an investor, director and advisor to a variety of businesses, most in the software and Internet domain, including OnDeck Capital, Flatiron Health, Aster Data Systems, Knewton, Gigya, AltSchool, The Black Tux, Five Below, Massdrop,, IronPort,, Monetate, LinkedIn, ModCloth, AppNexus, BankSimple, Swipely, True & Co., Wanelo, Warby Parker,, Numerai, OpenX, LiveOps,, Clover Health, Upstart and Discourse.[20]

In 2007, Kopelman helped to coin the phrase the Implicit Web to better describe the Semantic Web.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In 1995, Josh married Rena Cohen, an attorney, in Great Neck, New York.[1] In 2001, Josh and his wife created the Kopelman Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization to provide “start-up” grants to social entrepreneurs.[22] In 2002, the Kopelman Foundation funded a project to digitize and host the complete text of the Jewish Encyclopedia online. In 2016, Josh was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Inquirer.[23]

Kopelman currently lives in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d e New York Times: "Rena M. Cohen, Joshua Kopelman" August 13, 1995
  2. ^ "Alumni Leaders at Wharton". Undergraduate.
  3. ^ "Infonautics' players: What are they up to?". 2003-04-28. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  4. ^ "TurnTide's tale a rare example". 2004-07-26. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  5. ^ "List of Patents". Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  6. ^ Nicas, Jack (15 April 2018). "NY Times VC List". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Forbes Midas List" (PDF). 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "The Midas List 2020". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  17. ^ a b "FRC Biography". Archived from the original on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Business 2.0 Magazine - Tech's new Kingmakers". Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Fortune Magazine - 8 rising VC stars". Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  20. ^ "On civilized discourse". 8 February 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Friday Q&A: Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital". 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  22. ^ Jessica Endy (12 October 2012). "Federation to Recognize Local Communal Leaders". Jewish Exponent. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  23. ^ Jeff Gammage (1 June 2016). "Josh Kopelman replaces Gerry Lenfest as PMN chair". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Josh Kopelman". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-02-08.

External links[edit]