High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Forbes names two Endeavor Board members and one Investor Network member to its “Elite Eight” VCs to watch

Forbes and TrueBridge Capital Partners have named two Endeavor Board members and one Endeavor Investor Network member to its “Elite Eight” list of venture capitalists to watch.

The Elite Eight is a spinoff of Forbes’ and TrueBridge’s Midas List (of top venture capitalists) and highlights up-and-comers in the industry. The new list’s name takes its inspiration from the NCAA basketball tournament, in which unexpected, upstart teams often upset perennial favorites. While the Midas List utilizes a rigorous, quantitative model to identify its honorees, the Elite Eight employs a more qualitative approach, analyzing the industry at a macro level, looking closely at individual managers’ portfolios, and speaking with industry veterans.

Note: Blurbs below reprinted from Forbes.com.

Nick Beim
General Partner, Matrix Partners; Endeavor Global Board Member

Beim focuses on Internet and software investments for Matrix, historically among Boston’s finest venture firms but which recently planted big flags in Silicon Valley and New York. Beim, who opened Matrix’s Big Apple office early last year, was discussed frequently by the Midas List panel due to his investments in Gilt Groupe (the event-based online sales company that seems to be minting money) and TheLadders.com (the leading online destination for $100K+ jobs). JBoss, a company in which Beim invested just four years after becoming a venture capitalist in 2004, sold to RedHat in 2006 for $350 million. Like most of the others in our Elite Eight, Beim is still in his 30s, but is poised to find a place on the Midas List before long.

Jason Green
Founding General Partner, Emergence Capital; Endeavor Global Board Member

Green is a twin married to a twin, but has managed to build an investment portfolio that is anything but identical from others in Silicon Valley. After investing on behalf of established firms USVP and Venrock for over a decade, Green caught the entrepreneurial bug himself and co-founded Emergence Capital. The firm, which was an early investor in Salesforce.com, has focused on “cloud computing” since 2003, long before it was fashionable to do so. It’s paying off. Green earned big money on SuccessFactors, which went public in late-2007, and many believe Yammer, a Facebook-for-corporations that he backed in early 2010, could be a billion-dollar business. As these lofty plans come to fruition, Green – the elder statesman of the Elite Eight at just 44 – has a great shot at being on the Midas List for years to come.

Matt Cohler
General Partner, Benchmark Capital; Endeavor Investor Network Member

Cohler is among the youngest to hit our watch list. That’s fitting, since at the age of 31, he was the youngest non-founder to crack the general partner ranks of venerable Benchmark Capital when he joined in 2008 (Kevin Harvey was slightly younger when he co-founded the firm in 1995). Cohler was part of the founding team at LinkedIn, which recently filed for an IPO, and was one of the earliest hires at Facebook, where he was vice president of product management. He was recruited to Benchmark by Midas Lister #4, Peter Fenton, to beef up the firm’s presence in Web 2.0. He seems to be doing swimmingly, having invested in Asana (started by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz) and Quora (red-hot social “knowledge market”), among others. Cohler remains a special advisor to Facebook, which undoubtedly helps his already robust deal flow.

Cohler is a member of Endeavor’s recently-launched Investor Network. Designed to extend the reach of investors focused on emerging markets, the Investor Network connects leading investors with High-Impact Entrepreneurs and partners in emerging markets through tailored treks and services. The annual membership program aims to increase entrepreneurs’ access to smart growth capital and create an active global network of investors. The Network launched in February 2011 and kicked off its first trek in April, in Brazil. The next trek, Emerging Market Venture Day, will be in Silicon Valley on June 28 as a pre-conference activity for Endeavor’s Entrepreneur Summit.

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