About David S.
I'm a decades-long TEDster, probably best known among the conference crowd for my main-stage three minutes on railroad cabooses, and my TED University Talks (now on TED.com and YouTube). When not at TED, I am a serial entrepreneur and one of the more active 'super-angels' in the country. I've recently shared my experiences in angel investing, and the lessons I've learned, in the New York Times bestselling book "Angel Investing: The Gust Guide to Making Money & Having Fun Investing in Startups" (gust.com/guide).
In 2001, after multiple careers in real estate development, Internet technology and the US government, I founded Rose Tech Ventures, through which I have provided investment capital and (where appropriate) business mentoring, to more than 90 promising early stage companies, leading Forbes to describe me as "New York's Archangel". I was profiled a few years ago in BusinessWeek as "The Pitch Coach" for my coaching of entrepreneurs to help perfect their fundraising skills, and I spend quite a bit of time speaking at business schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and NYU.
In the for-profit world, I am founder and CEO of Gust, which operates the global collaboration platform for early stage equity investing (sort of the 'first world' equivalent of micro-finance) which connects hundreds of thousands of startup companies with tens of thousands of active early stage investors. I also serve on the Boards of Directors of companies including KoolSpan, Inc. (network security technology), Waywire.com (video discovery and sharing), Social Bicycles (Internet-enabled bike sharing), Pond5 (user-generated video stock photography), Por ti, Familia (Peruvian base-of-the-pyramid healthcare) and TekServe (the largest independent Apple dealer.)
I am a native New Yorker, with a BA (in Urban Affairs) from Yale, an MBA (in Finance) from Columbia Business School and an honorary D. Eng, from Stevens Institute of Techology. I'm a graduate of the New York City public school system and Horace Mann High School.
And just to round out the ED portions of my tED profile, I'm a fine-arts letterpress printer and teacher who runs one of the most popular sites on the web on the subject of Letterpress Printing.
TED2016, TED2015, TED2014, TED2013, TED2012, TED2011, TED2010, TED2009, TED2008, TED2007, TED2006, TED2005, TED2004
Areas of Expertise
Angel investing, Venture capital pitch coaching, Letterpress printing, entrepreneurship
An idea worth spreading
Most investors look for the following ten 'must-haves' (pretty much in this order) in their search for the Perfect Entrepreneur: Integrity, Passion, Startup Experience, Domain Expertise, Functional Skills, Leadership, Commitment, Vision, Realism and 'Coachability'.
I'm passionate about
My wife and kids, letterpress printing, entrepreneurship, train travel, democracy, sushi, mentoring, effective presentations, urban planning, book collecting, New York, Web 2.0; basically...everything
Talk to me about
Parenting, Angel investing, Crowdfunding, Web 2.0, Typography, Entrepreneurship, Gadgets, Trains and Cabooses, The Future, Politics, Urban Planning...anything (I'm a good listener, too!)
People don't know I'm good at
My TED story
I have the privilege of being part of what is believed to be the largest (and only three generation) TED family, as my parents, spouse, daughter, siblings, aunt, uncle, and cousins are also TEDsters.