StartUp Stories: The Venture Fund Library

Among NYU Law's alumni are many successful entrepreneurs. Here, several share their stories and offer advice to those interested in pivoting to a career in business. 

Participants:

  • Paul Appelbaum '98 co-founded GrubHub Seamless and is now an independent consultant focusing on early stage investing and advising, primarily in the intersection of food and tech. 
  • Alexandra Fung '08 is the CEO and co-founder of Upparent, a community-curated website with kids activities and parenting tips.
  • Bob Gold '84 is the senior managing director of Ridgewood Energy Corporation, an energy-focused private equity firm, and CEO of Ridgewood Capital Corporation, a manager of venture capital funds focused on investments in technology companies.
  • Nick Goss '13 is the COO and co-founder of Parallel Markets, a portable identity for accredited investors that can be used across platforms.
  • Riley Jones '20 is co-founder and CEO of Sector (formerly Bloc), a digital job search accelerator for emerging talent.
  • Brandon Nelson '99 is general counsel and corporate secretary of JetBlue; he joined when the airline was just five years old. 
  • D.K. Smith '16 is CEO and president of DK Smith and Co.an operations strategy consulting firm.
  • Jake Yormak '13 is a partner and co-founder of Story Ventures, a capital fund that focuses on tech innovations.

 

The Pivot to Business

Nick Goss '13 and Jake Yormak '13 on founding Parallel Markets and Story Ventures, respectively

Alexandra Fung '08 on her transition from immigration lawyer to Upparent CEO and co-founder

Riley Jones' 20 on starting a business in college and growing it in law school

Bob Gold '84 on his journey from political science major to Ridgewood Capital 

 

Why Legal Training Helps

D.K. Smith '16 on how lawyers have an advantage—being able to argue effectively and efficiently

Paul Appelbaum '98 on how legal training prepares you to make a solid business plan

Watch: Alexandra Fung '08 on how a lawyer's analytical skills complement entrepreneurial vision

Brandon Nelson '99 on how issue spotting and other skills honed in legal training contribute to success

Nick Goss '13 and Jake Yormak '13 on how law school teaches you to read contracts and question everything

 

Advice & Inspiration

Brandon Nelson '99 on focusing your mission and believing in it

Bob Gold '84 on finding a scalable idea

Paul Appelbaum '98 on knowing your clients and their needs

Riley Jones '20 on the value of grace under pressure

D.K. Smith '16 on overcoming analysis paralysis