Featured on Aug 22, 2011
"You should never ever doubt what no one is sure about. -Willy Wonka"
Charlie is currently a Founding Partner at Revel Partners, an early-expansion stage venture firm, and a Co-Founder & General Partner at ER Accelerator, a leading NYC-born seed-stage investment program. Previously, Charlie was a Principal with Steelpoint Capital Partners, a media & technology growth equity firm he joined in 2005. While at Steelpoint, he led or participated in numerous successful investments in the media & communications fields including AdSpace Networks, Atempo, Boingo Wirless (IPO), Jitterbug, PacStar Communications, PrivaSys, Promptu, SeaMobile, Topica, WMI Media Solutions, and WorkShare. Charlie also has worked with Darby Overseas Investments, a global private equity firm led by Nicholas Brady, former US Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman of Dillon Read & Co, where he helped launch plan an early-stage venture fund focused on Latin America. Earlier in his career, Charlie was a Co-Founder & Managing Director of a Chicago-based digital media agency, KMF, focused on intranet design and e-commerce system integration. In addition to Revel, Charlie is also a Co-Founder & current Chair of the New York City Venture Connection, a networking organization comprised of the leading venture capital firms in the Greater New York area.
- Title: Chief Bottle Washer
- Age: 35
- Location: Chelsea
- Contact: @ckemper
What aspects of a company or product gets you excited enough to consider investing in them?
The number one thing that I look for as investor is a strong management team, a team that is passionate & determined about their company's goal, but humble & pragmatic about their efforts. My job is all about people and I've found that it's critical to work with great people, so that's my first screen. In building a company, it's important to build a team of people you like being around, and that holds true for your investors as well as it does employees. So, I look for founders & management teams that I enjoy spending time with, both on & off work. For instance, if we have kiteboarding in common, then it's almost a done deal, let's talk shop while on the water!
More specifically, my background & investment focus tends to lie in internet infrastructure software and applications software, both in digital media and across business in general. Obviously, mobile is an enormous component of this as it increases internet penetration to billions of end points, from your local NYC bodega to the bodega in rural Argentina.
You’ve lived in Mexico, so we’re curious where you’d recommend that we’d go here in the City for good Mexican food.
It's nearly impossible to find a decent Taco al Pastor in NYC. Frankly, I haven't really found a good one anywhere in the US. As for tacos in general, my favorite spot is the El Idolo truck on 14th & Eighth, and my go-to is the taco de bistec. As for higher end Mexican grub, Rosa Mexicano does a pretty spectacular job. But I have yet to find a restaurant in NYC that comes close to the uniqueness of Mexican icons, like Las Mananitas in Cuernavaca.
What has been the most challenging part of part of the founding team at ER Accelerator?
The most challenging, and also the most exciting, part of the launching ERA was creating a new program from scratch. We had obviously seen other accelerator programs and talked to many startups who had been though them, but we still had to figure out what formula we wanted to use. Starting with a blank slate, just like any other startup, we had to develop a strategy and then implement a structured program and approach that we thought would maximize the experience and the chances of success for our customers--our startups. We are excited to be building a NYC-born program that thrives on everything great that NYC has to offer.