ff Venture Capital

John Frankel

Founding Partner

I founded ff Venture Capital ("ffVC") in 2008 and have been a seed- and early-stage investor since late 1999. I focus on advising and growing technology and technology-enabled companies across emerging industries, including artificial intelligence, cyber security, drones, enterprise software, crowdfunding, and data analytics, among others.

I have served on the boards of more than 35 companies and led investments in more than 80 companies, including Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Indiegogo, Ionic Security, Unikey, Skycatch, Plated, 500px, Distil Networks, Pebblepost, and Owlet. I also sit on The NYU Tandon School of Engineering's Board of Overseers.

Prior to founding ffVC, I worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years in a variety of roles that involved technology development, reengineering and capital markets.

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Notable Investments

Cornerstone OnDemand, Indiegogo, Ionic Security, Skycatch, Plated, 500px, Distil Networks, Pebblepost, Owlet

Questions & Answers

Origin Story: In a couple sentences, how would you describe your path to becoming an investor?

Built businesses within Goldman Sachs.  Started angel investing based on long-term skillset.  Paid out, so founded ffVC.

Investment Approach: What are the key factors you consider when evaluating a founding team?

Delusionally optimistic.  Able to sell.  Wants to build a business.  Domain advantage

What's your style and approach when it comes to working with founders post-investment? What are the characteristics of founders you've worked well with?

Highly engaged.  Only work with founders that reference us and find that important.  Historically, around 50% of our seed funded deals end up raising a Series B.

If I'm coming to pitch to you or your firm, what's the one piece of advice you'd give me?

Number your slides.  Tell the story in 15 slides.

How would you describe your own personal mission and values, and how do they impact the way you invest?

Want to help others be successful.

What do you like best about investing in NYC, and what’s your outlook on the future of NYC tech?

The supportive ecosystem.