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Featured on Jun 14, 2011

Matt Salzberg

"Fortune favors the bold."


I'm an investor at Bessemer Venture Partners where I focus on mobile, software and digital media start-ups. In past lives, I co-founded my own mobile start-up, spent time studying entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, learned finance during the LBO-boom at Blackstone, and even ran a multi-location laundry company. I love traveling and try to go scuba diving whenever I can.

As a venture capitalist and someone who has experience in creating start-ups, what do you see as the most important part of proposing a new product or business? What gets you excited about investment prospects?

I think the most important part of any business is the quality of the people.  It’s hard work to launch a new company and it requires a very rare skill set because founders need to wear so many different hats.  It also requires a certain amount of blind determination since most people will tell you that you’re going to fail.  Beyond that, if you want to start business AND raise venture capital, you need to be targeting a really big idea.

As a start-up man and avid traveller, how would you compare the start-up scene in NYC to that of other cities in the world?

There’s no comparison possible, NYC is the best!

NYC isn’t exactly the best place to scuba. How often do you get to scuba? If you get the urge to dive, do you scuba nearby somewhere in the tri-state area?

I’ve been on 40-50 dives since I got certified in 2005, typically 2-6 each time I travel somewhere warm.   So far, I’ve gone diving in Bermuda, Belize, Puerto Rico, Grand Cayman, Thailand, Australia, Cabo, Turks & Caicos, and a few other places.  I haven’t been diving in the northeast yet, but I want to as soon as I get my dry suit certification (which you need to do to tolerate the cold water here).  Two cold dives I want to do are: exploring the underwater city at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut and diving to catch lobsters in Boston.

Senior Associate