PARTNER, CYBER FUND INVESTMENT COMMITTEE
Management and Strategy Consulting
Eric is a partner at Blu Venture Investors and the managing partner of Adler Associates LP, an investment firm. He spent 19 years as the co-founder and managing director of The SEED Foundation, which builds and operates tuition-free college prep boarding schools in underserved inner-cities. His early career experience includes partner in Adler – Blum Associates LLP, a financial advisory firm; associate at Dean & Company, a strategy consulting firm; and teacher and dean of Students at St. Paul’s School. He has two decades of experience building and operating a business with more than 350 employees and $40 million in revenues. He has served on the boards of Big League Advance, Bright Greens, TrackOFF, Swarthmore College, and Young Presidents Organization U.S. Capital Chapter.
When evaluating startups, Eric looks for a solution to a significant problem and something that is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. He values a brilliant management team and an entrepreneur who is excited about both the business and the product
Real Estate Development
What do you look for in a start-up company?
A great product. A solution to a significant problem. A must-have, not a nice-to-have. A brilliant management team. An entrepreneur who is as excited about her business as about her product. An entrepreneur who sees the entire financial life-cycle of the company from founding to funding to growth to exit.
Why do you invest in follow-on rounds?
I invest in follow-on rounds if I believe that the fundamentals of the company are solid, it is performing as I was promised (or at least it is performing well), and the management team has made a strong argument that they need the money and deserve the money. Admittedly, I have sometimes been tempted the invest in follow-on rounds in order to rescue my earlier investment(s), but I try to have the discipline not to do this.