There is a complex fan dance that goes on between start-ups and the institutions that support them. VCs and investment banks want to find and befriend the most promising start-ups before anyone else. At the same time, few of these promising young candidates will mature into profitable clients in the near future. So scouting the best crop of upcoming talent is crucial.
Jacob Brody—entrepreneur and former reporter for VentureBeat—is heading to boutique investment bank Mesa as the new head of Business and Community Development. That’s a fancy way of saying digital A&R, which means Brody won’t have to change much about his daily routine. “My job is to augment Mesa’s connections in the digital world so that we can find great companies and help them build their businesses before other investment banks even know about them,” said Brody.
The new position is a reflection of the boom in New York’s tech scene. “There have been a wave of new seed funds and that means a lot more activity to keep an eye on,” said Mark Patricof, a managing partner at Mesa. “Jacob is an entrepreneur, so he’s empathetic to young companies. He can naviagte their networks and create an ongoing dialouge with founders.”
Brody will offer his services free of charge to promising start-ups. “I’m out there helping these companies with biz dev, with PR, with product. If I like and believe in an entrepreneur, I’m going to help them build their business anyway I can,” Brody told The Observer.
It’s a similar idea to the entrepreneur in residence, a point man who can speak the start-up’s language. “When these companies become more mature and start looking for banking relationships, we’ll be in a good position,” said Patricof.
Brody will continue to work on his company, the non-profit Standard Start, and plans to launch a version 2.0 soon. In the meantime, he’ll be getting up a little earlier in the morning and enjoying a few perks rare in the start-up world. “I love health insurance,” Brody told The Observer.
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper