About | Fitz Gate Ventures

What is Fitz Gate Ventures?

  • Fitz Gate Ventures invests a majority of its capital in early stage companies where a Princeton alumnus, faculty member or student is a founder or member of the senior management team, writing checks of $250K-$500K plus follow-ons.
  • In its first two years, Fitz Gate has evaluated 600+ such startups and invested in 12 so far (as of October 2018). Through its 200+ Friends of Fitz Advisory Board of alumni, faculty, administrators, trustees and students as well as the broader worldwide Princeton alumni network, the fund engages with the Princeton community to help it discover the best startups and then help its founders succeed (introductions to co-investors, follow-on investors, customers, mentors).
  • Fitz Gate has already seen its portfolio companies receive follow-on funding at premiums from Sequoia, Canaan, Tribeca, Andreessen Horowitz, Citi Ventures, Focus Financial Partners (KKR) and other leading VC firms.
  • Fitz Gate’s portfolio companies have been profiled in the New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and more.
  • Fitz Gate invests alongside other world class VC firms but is also willing to lead and/or invest alone.
  • Fitz Gate Ventures has offices in Princeton, NJ and Houston, TX
  • Fitz Gate has relationships on the Princeton campus as well as with loyal alumni nationwide, providing early access to a wide range of investment opportunities
  • The Fund’s strategy of working with its Friends of Fitz and the broader Princeton network for deal sourcing, deal vetting, follow-on financing, business development and mentorship of its portfolio company founders and management is unique, even among other university focused funds
  • The Fund’s principals are connected to the University, its students and alumni through current and past alumni leadership positions as well as through judging/sponsoring faculty, alumni and student business plans throughout the year and leading a lecture series on venture capital for the Princeton Graduate School.

Investment Thesis

  • Invest primarily in startups in which a Princetonian is either a founder or a member of the senior management team
  • Early stage focus
  • Potential for outsized returns
  • Rapidly growing market
  • Business can be understood and its growth strategy clearly communicated
  • Business model is scalable
  • All industry sectors
  • Sustainable advantage exists (people, customers, IP)
  • Diverse exit opportunities
  • US focus
  • Will co-invest, lead or be the sole investor where appropriate

Management

  • Jim Cohen

    Jim is an experienced public company officer and director with a background in investment banking, corporate law, private equity and M&A/strategy. Jim’s career has been focused on making investments in growing businesses.

     

    • Lecturer, Princeton University Graduate School Seminar Series on Venture Capital
    • Adjunct Professor/Lecturer, Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business
    • Head of M&A/Corp Dev at NYSE public company
    • Partner and member of Investment Committee of private equity firm, Main Street Capital (NYSE: MAIN)
    • Attorney at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (NYC, London) and Baker Botts (Houston)
    • Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley (NYC)
    • A.B., cum laude Princeton University 1986; Honor Committee; Class President
    • JD, NYU School of Law
    • Member, Executive Committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University, the governing body of the University’s alumni association (2015-present)
    • Vice Chair, Stewardship Committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University (2017-present)
    • Vice Chair, Princeton Schools Committee, a committee which oversees over 12,000 alumni worldwide to interview applicants to the University (2015-2017)
    • Co-Chair, Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee, Houston region, a committee of approximately 2oo alumni (2007-2017)
    • Reach Jim directly at jim@fitzgate.com
  • Mark Poag

    As a successful software entrepreneur that helped lead a company from start-up, through rapid growth, market dominance and ultimate strategic sale, Mark has first-hand experience of what it takes to start, grow and sell a successful business.                                                                                                                              

    • Lecturer, Princeton University Graduate School Seminar Series on Venture Capital
    • Adjunct Professor/Lecturer, Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business
    • Head of Product, Marketing, Legal and Alliances at Datacert, Inc., an enterprise software company (sold 2014)
    • Founder and CEO of Digicontract, Inc., a SaaS company (sold 2001)
    • A.B., Princeton University 1993
    • MBA, Tulane University
    • JD, Tulane School of Law
    • Co-Chair, Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee, Houston region, a committee of approximately 200 alumni (2007-present)
    • President of Princeton Class of 1993 (1993-1998)
    • President of the Princeton Alumni Association of Houston (2002-2008)
    • Member, Executive Committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University, the governing body of the University’s alumni association (2004-2008)
    • Vice Chair, Committee on Regional Associations of the Alumni Council of Princeton University (2004-5)
    • Reach Mark directly at mark@fitzgate.com
Fitz Gate Ventures, LP and FitzRandolph Gateway Management, LLC are not legally affiliated with or endorsed by Princeton University
© 2016 FitzRandolph Gateway Management, LLC

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