A few weeks back Betabeat met Oren Bennett at a Brooklyn Beta party, where he informed us that he was a recent college dropout who was planning to start his own venture fund. We had our doubts, given his lack of experience as an entrepreneur and his admittedly minimal knowledge of finance. Today we got an update from his friends at UNYStartups:
Mr. Bennett is doing great. He met Mark Suster, who thought he was wasted. And he is forging ahead with his venture adventure, aiming to raise a $100 million fund his first time up to bat as High Growth Capital Partners.
This being a hip, youthful fund, it currently operates off of a Tumblr and Twitter account. As Mr. Bennett explained, “We were also at the peak of the biggest macro cycle in the history of the U.S. This meant it was the best time to raise and the worst time to invest.” In order to compete with established shops like DFJ Gotham and USV, Mr. Bennet had to go big. “I decided to raise $100 Million myself and start my own VC Firm. I needed to raise as much as I could because after the cycle ended I would have to wait a long time before I could raise again. I knew the minimum amount for the first round was usually $25 Million. I was about to do something very unusual.”
To find backers for this big fund, Mr. Bennett plunged into the tech scene here in New York. “I’ve talked to Brad Feld, Luke Nosek, Jim O’Neill, John Frankel, Eliot Durbin, Kirill Sheynkman and Murat Aktihanoglu. The list goes on of people who I’ve told about what I’m doing and have considered potential LPs.”
It’s do or die for Mr. Bennett. “If I don’t reach my goal of $100 Million in two weeks or decide to raise from family, I’ll start something else. Don’t know what I’ll do next, but I’ll get to it when I get to it. For now my plan is raise, raise and raise.”