Josh Kopelman on how to start and run an early-stage fund in a hypercompetitive market

Josh Kopelman on how to start and run an early-stage fund in a hypercompetitive market

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Last week at the Upfront Summit in Pasadena, there was no shortage of glitz, from the venue (the Rose Bowl) to the catering (Wolfgang Puck) to the guest list (Ice Cube, Paris Hilton and John Legend, to name just a few). Still, there were also plenty of sessions that provided the investors and founders in the audience practical advice, including, notably, a session led by Upfront co-founder Mark Suster, who interviewed his longtime peer Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital.

The topic was how to raise a debut venture fund — as well as keep the whole operation afloat over time. The bottom line, suggested Kopelman, is that it’s a lot harder than it looks. Indeed, according to other investors at the event with whom we chatted, the seed and early-stage funding environment has grown especially brutal. As more debut funds have sprung up on the scene, more established firms have begun throwing elbows.

Part of Kopelman’s chat with Suster made its way around the Silicon Valley last week, when Axios’s business editor, Dan Primack, tweeted a part of the conversation about First Round’s accelerated deal-making pace. We were also in the audience and think other aspects of the

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