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A conversation with Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital

Posted by Scott Kirsner  October 18, 2012 10:58 AM

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When I surveyed Boston entrepreneurs earlier this month about our area's go-to venture capitalists, there were two break-out winners: Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital for ideas related to mobile, social, games, or the consumer web; and David Skok of Matrix Partners for enterprise software, services, and software-as-a-service.

I had a chance to sit down with Sabet recently (and I'll be interviewing Skok for a future blog post.) With investments in companies like Foursquare, Twitter, and Runkeeper, Sabet is active in New York, San Francisco, and Boston. One of his portfolio companies, OMGPOP, which created the game Draw Something, was acquired by Zynga earlier this year for a reported $200 million. His blog is at bijansabet.com.

We talked about:

Areas of opportunity right now
  • Is the interest in "Enterprise 2.0" among investors eclipsing consumer Internet investing?
  • His investment in Academia.edu, a social network for researchers
  • Warby Parker & Kickstarter as examples of designing and manufacturing things -- and bringing them to market -- without much interference from others
  • The proliferation of sensors (Nike Fuel, Runkeeper, Under Armour)
  • What he's seeing too much of (like "Instagram for video," or digital couponing)
  • His take on the gaming business (including his first reaction of Draw Something)
  • The best time for an entrepreneur to come pitch him

The audio runs about 15 minutes:

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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