After an extended hiatus I am back to the blog.A lot has happened since I last posted including a little traveling and a new job with a Pittsburgh based private equity firm, Grouse Ridge Capital, where Ihave already lead my first venture deal bringing in a Series D position in the flash storage company Violin Memory.I’m working with a fantastic team and things are very exciting.Deal flow is strong and I’ve been working on building out my syndicate of like-minded investors. The process of forming persistent partnerships involves a lot of conversations, a bit of travel because I prefer to have these conversations in person when practical, and some self-reflection on investment strategy and core values.When it comes down to the wire what factors are most important in making your investment decision?Through this process I’ve also tried to keep in touch with the mentors that helped me develop my values and philosophy.I’ve always espoused on the importance of actively strengthening relationships both professionally and socially; these relationships don’t build themselves!It takes work and you have to go out of your way to do it, but that work always pays off in some form or another.More than anything this was the message that I repeated endlessly (undoubtedly to the chagrin to my classmates) as Social Chair and President of my MBA program at Carnegie Mellon. Yesterday morning I caught a cup of coffee with Kirk Vincent, Due Diligence Chair at BlueTree Allied Angels, who along with regional venture capital patriarch Freddy Lipsitz, I am proud to count as one of my formative mentors.We chatted, traded notes, speculated on prior investments we had made, and swapped stories.On the surface nothing productive was accomplished.But it’s these meetings and the relationships that they support that have enabled me to be successful in my career and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to return the favors or to pay them forward. Call a friend and grab a coffee.You’ll both be glad you did.
Benjamin Garber is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business M.B.A. program with concentrations in marketing and operations. He holds a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont where he also studied Community Development and Applied Economics.
Ben is an Associate at Grouse Ridge Capital, a Pittsburgh based private equity firm investing in innovative technology ventures and distressed corporate assets. Ben is also a certified Master Brewer who was trained in Scotland before returning stateside to brew for Trout River Brewing Co. in northern Vermont. After leaving manufacturing, Ben has spent several years in managerial and technical consulting. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh and is a die-hard Steelers and Pitt basketball fan.