You can’t not love(or if you’re a New England investor, not co-invest with) Semyon Dukach. I once wrote a blog called “And this year’s word is Co”; the only person I know of, who was my CO-investor in all 4 of those companies (CoachUp, coUrbanize, CoEverywhere, CommandIQ), was Semyon. Here’s a semi-complete list of what Semyon’s invested in.
Besides our taste in startups, we have some other things in common. We both did bizarre things out of school that people thought were wild and risky–he headed one of the infamous MIT blackjack teams. Back then, we both learned a lot about going for gold and suffering the occasional crash. Which of course prepares you for life as angel investors. And we both started a few companies–with one of his successes being SMTP.
Unlike me, Semyon, however, is no ordinary angel, however. Not the least of which he doesn’t have grey hair and glasses. (I’m talking about both of us, Joe Caruso.) Because he now leverages an entire ecosystem to churn out companies, making him possibly one of the most important startup people not just in Boston, but the whole East Coast.
He’s smart. He’s savvy. He works his butt off. But as is evident in the video, the secret sauce of his success as a mentor and investor: he really, really cares. Once TechStars class graduates in a month, we’ll sit him down for a really good interview.
PS: Michael de la Maza pointed out in the comments that if you want to join Semyon’s AngelList Syndicate, you can do so here. Brad Feld of Foundry Group is, and that is smart company! (And I am investing in Semyon’s syndicate as well.)
For now, enjoy this blast from the past of Semyon teaching blackjack:
Post-script: Little did I know when I made this film that I would be joining Semyon a few months later at Techstars. This post says why…and the chance to work with Semyon was the major factor.