Venture capital isn’t exactly a hot topic on social media. Especially to those outside of the startup world, VCs can seem boring, inaccessible, or aloof. Even many within it see VCs as “parent” figures rather than fun, friendly people.
Hop on Twitter, however, and you’ll see just what a riot some venture capitalists can be. Not only do they tend to be some of the smartest people in finance, but many are also downright funny. These VCs can give social media aficionados a firsthand lesson in tone and catering insights to a specific audience.
And if you want to fuel the growth of a business, you’ll find few better sources of industry news or pitching tips. Which VCs are worth following? The next time you’re on Twitter, check out:
1. Fred Wilson
Fred Wilson has been in the VC game since 1986, but he still finds time to tweet jokes and opinions almost daily. A co-founder of Union Square Ventures, Fred and his firm support early-stage companies across the industry spectrum. His current investments include Algorand, a digital currency and transactions platform; Scroll, a subscription service that delivers an ad-free experience; and Flip, which helps users find and sublet apartments. Fred uses his Twitter to talk about VC-related topics, but don’t be surprised to also find chocolate chip cookie recipes or chatter about his family mixed in.
2. Phil Stover
An eclectic mix of think pieces, sports news, and shout-outs fill the Twitter feed of Phil Stover, the Los Angeles-based co-founder of Blue Skies Ventures. Covering everything from Capital One’s breach to product development faux pas, Stover’s posts connect closely to his investment interests. Specializing in idea- and some seed-stage startups, Stover’s portfolio includes fast-fashion technology brand FABFAD, esports social media hub PvP.com, wedding planning app Vowla, and Shipsomnia, a music festival cruise experience. Before becoming an entrepreneur and investor, Phil used his marketing MBA to oversee multimillion-dollar sales portfolios and product launches.
3. Eileen Burbidge
As a former product director at Skype and a director of communication products at Yahoo!, Burbidge cut her teeth in the 2000s tech industry. Today, she lives and works in London as a partner at Passion Capital, where she helps fund early-stage tech companies around the world. Since its inception in 2011, the group has funded 70 startups, including Adzuna, a search engine aggregator for classified listings; Burrow, a mortgage company poised to disrupt the real estate sector with automation; and Thread, an online personal fashion stylist service. Her Twitter gives a glimpse into fascinating days, touches on culture and politics, and shares insights on the tech world.
Offering witty gripes, advocacy, and product insights in equal doses, Christine Herron’s Twitter is a great read if you want to stay up-to-date on political news and tech startups. Her post at Intel Capital has her overseeing startups such as Yummly, a personalized recipe recommendation tool and search engine, and Jelli, a programmatic radio advertising platform. Herron also advises the startup accelerator 500 Startups and is on the board of nonprofit StartX. Watch her Twitter closely if you’re a student entrepreneur: You might get the inside scoop on a $9,000 scholarship that includes investor mentorship.
With an angel fund of more than $10 million, Calacanis is a leading voice in the world of first-round investments. Six of his early investments, including Uber and Evernote, have posted valuations of $1 billion or more. Despite that, his tweets tend to be humble and focused on world events. One exception is Launch, which he founded; it’s since grown into the largest global conference for startup founders. For Launch members and interested entrepreneurs, Calcanis regularly announces office hours that he spends helping founders solve product-market problems.
Whether you want to understand the business-driving viewpoints of venture capitalists or simply enjoy bad finance jokes, there’s no better place to find it than these VCs’ Twitter pages. And if you’re lucky, you might just come away with some social media ideas of your own.