In this post 2011 hackNY Fellow Akarshan Kumar describes the hackNY Summer Series lecture by the partners at Union Square Ventures.

On Monday, July 25, 2011, the hackNY fellows were hosted by Union Square Ventures in their swank new office on Broadway. We got a chance to speak to three of the firm’s partners, Brad Burnham, Fred Wilson and Albert Wenger, and also spoke to Gary and Christina about their experiences working with USV. With investments in companies like Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga and Etsy, Union Square Ventures is one of the best VC firms in the country – we were excited to be there.

The partners spoke on a variety of topics – like what the firm looked for in prospective investments, the importance of a good team (as opposed to just a good idea), and what, according to them, were the characteristics of a good pitch (“A pitch is like a party” – Wilson).

Gary and Christina hung out with us later, and it was nice to hear their take too. Gary, having worked in a number of different environments, shared his perspective – “You should follow what you genuinely love doing… If someone doesn’t like what you are doing, it’s their problem, not yours.” Christina talked about her career-path post college and how (and more important, why) she left the Boston Consulting Group to come work for USV.


It was inspiring to see the entire team up close, and it was the perfect talk to begin our final week of hacking in New York.