We continued our Leadership Breakfast Series this week with Ben Lerer. Ben is the co-founder of Thrillist.com, the leading men’s digital lifestyle publication that provides recommendations on local food, drinks, entertainment, travel, and events. Ben also recently co-founded Lerer Ventures, an early-stage fund targeting investments in New York technology and media companies.
During the 90-minute breakfast, Ben spoke about his experiences as an entrepreneur and an early-stage investor. At Thrillist.com, Ben focused on creating excellent content that his readers wanted and couldn’t find anywhere else. Local businesses quickly realized the power of a Thrillist.com recommendation, as restaurant reservations would quickly fill up and products would sell out within hours of a positive review. Ben also spoke about the acquisition of the online shopping community JackThreads, and how the company’s strong relationships with male casual-wear brands benefit Thrillist.com readers.
In his latest venture, Ben teamed with his father to create a fund targeting early-stage technology and media companies. He stressed the importance of experience starting a business when looking to identify high-potential early-stage businesses and advise them on growth.
Thank you to Ben for taking the time to share his stories.
~ Christin Davis – Columbia Business School 2012 – Current InSITE fellow