About David S.

Bio

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.

Languages

English, French

TED Conferences

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

Letterpress Printing

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.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

249348
David S. Rose
Posted over 1 year ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Gracie, I hope you enjoy the book; it certainly is what you're describing :-). To briefly answer you questions, (1) a "business" is typically a corporate entity in which the investor can purchase an ownership share. In most cases it is a C corporation (typically, but not always, incorporated in Delaware), but it can also be a Limited Liability Company (LLC); (2) the type of business you describe is, unfortunately, highly unlikely to be fundable by any outside investor. Angels need extremely high returns (typically 30 TIMES their money back!) in order to make up for the very high risk in starting a new venture. Good luck with your venture!
249348
David S. Rose
Posted over 1 year ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Glad you found the book helpful! I've compiled a list of other great books for entrepreneurs that I used as the reading list for my courses at Singularity University, and you can find it (along with annotations about each book) at http://amzn.com/lm/R3IEIGLI0KCG7C. Happy reading!
249348
David S. Rose
Posted over 1 year ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Thanks for the kind words. Yes, this talk is certainly pretty fast. It's partly because that's the way I normally speak (!), and partly because I only had about 12 minutes to convey the key points that usually take most of an hour-long class! Good luck with your own presentations; the skills I discuss in the video will stand you in good stead regardless of the subject matter...and effective communication is perhaps the single most important tool you can develop if you're considering a career in business!
249348
David S. Rose
Posted over 2 years ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
One great resource is Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder (http://www.amazon.com/Business-Model-Generation-Visionaries-Challengers/dp/0470876417/). Another is The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank (http://www.amazon.com/The-Startup-Owners-Manual-Step-By-Step/dp/0984999302/). Several others are noted in the reading list for my Finance, Entrepreneurship and Economics course at Singularity University (http://www.amazon.com/lm/R3IEIGLI0KCG7C/).
249348
David S. Rose
Posted about 3 years ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
"VC" is an abbreviation for Venture Capitalist. A venture capitalist is a professional investment manager who raises a large amount of money (typically anywhere from $20 million to $2 billion) from institutions known as Limited Partners (typically organizations with large amounts of cash that needs to be invested, such as insurance companies, pension funds, and university endowments). The VC then invests this money into very early stage, privately-owned companies, with the goal of helping them grow very, very big and ultimately return a large profile to the investors. This happens either when the company is acquired by a larger company, or else sells shares on the public stock market (known as "going public", or having an Initial Public Offering ("IPO").) Check out the Wikipedia entry on Venture Capital at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venture_capital
249348
David S. Rose
Posted over 3 years ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Renjie, Glad you liked it. It's pretty amazing that the video is from five years ago and has been viewed something like 500,000 times (who knew there were that many entrepreneurs!) Even though in the years since then I've done a lot more pitch coaching with a lot higher production value, it turns out that there is not much I would change in the content all these years later. Good luck with your fundraising (and consider checking out gust.com, which is our free platform for creating a confidential web site to showcase all the information you'd want to share with potential funders.)
249348
David S. Rose
Posted over 3 years ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Chris, while we have filmed a number of recent pitch workshops, there is nothing publicly posted online yet. You can, however, get a feel for the 2011 version of a somewhat toned-down me, from this recent Bloomberg clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PrlKjSjSj4
249348
David S. Rose
Posted about 4 years ago
David S. Rose: How to pitch to a VC
Ammar, thanks for your comments. I'm actually a bit embarrassed by the video at this point, because I've now improved and practiced it myself so much that the current version is much. much better :-). In my experience, you really need to give a presentation about 20 times before you get to be truly comfortable with it. While that doesn't necessarily sound like a lot, it certainly will once you start practicing! Video taping your pitch and then watching yourself is incredibly helpful. It's also incredibly painful for most people (including me). But if you do it at least once, and then remain conscious of the places where you want to improve (transitions between certain slides, not saying "umm", standing still rather than fidgeting, etc.) you'll usually be able to remember to watch out for those problems the next time you give the presentation. As an aside, I must confess to be surprised (well, amazed) at the effect this little video has had. I don't think that a day goes by but that an entrepreneur (or two or three) comes up to me to tell me how it helped him or her close a financing round. The power of TEDtalks is truly remarkable...