Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2015

Founder Field Day

by Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, Ramana Nanda and Nathaniel Burbank

Abstract

Branded as the "Millennial firm for Millennials," Mike Rothenberg founded Rothenberg Ventures (RV) in 2012 while earning his MBA at the Harvard Business School (HBS). Over the following 24 months, Rothenberg raised $20 million and built a venture capital firm that made dozens of seed investments in technology-focused startups. Pitched as an event that could pack a year's worth of networking into a single day, Founder Field Day was perhaps the firm's largest bet to date. On a spring day in May 2014, as some 300 invited founders descended on AT&T Park in San Francisco, one attendee, Fran Hauser, had a much larger decision to make than just selecting which sessions to attend in the day's 7th and 8th "innings." Rothenberg had recently asked Hauser to join RV as a partner and investor and invited her out to the Bay Area to consider the offer. Hauser, who had left her role as the president of digital for Time Inc.'s Style & Entertainment Group three months earlier, wondered if Rothenberg's inexperience would prove to be a drawback or a strength.

Keywords: finance; venture capital; Startups; seed-investing; micro-VC; Venture Capital; Business Startups; San Francisco; New York (city, NY);

Citation:

Rhodes-Kropf, Matthew, Ramana Nanda, and Nathaniel Burbank. "Founder Field Day." Harvard Business School Case 815-101, February 2015.