Heard on Campus: Paul Cianciolo, vice president of FirstMark Capital

“We’re trending towards a time where there are a lot of entrepreneurs who think raising money is a victory. It can certainly be helpful to bringing traffic, hype, customers to your business but it’s just really the beginning. When you raise that money, you take on a new set of complexity to your business. Suddenly, there are people you have to answer to, you have more responsibility than you had before and a greater set of expectations than you had before. Before you raise the money, understand why you’re doing it and what you’re trying to accomplish as a team; it’s incredibly important.”

-- Paul Cianciolo ('07 finance, '09 MBA), vice president of FirstMark Capital, on what entrepreneurs need to consider before they begin seeking funding. FirstMark is an early stage, tech-focused venture capital firm based in New York City. Outside of FirstMark, Cianciolo serves as a mentor for a number of NYC-based education and technology programs, including The Academy for Software Engineering, Blueprint Health, and the TechStars start-up accelerator.

Cianciolo spoke Thursday (April 10) as part of a panel discussion on acquiring start-up funding during IST Start-up Week 2014, a week-long showcase of innovations and entrepreneurship featuring “insider” talks by industry giants, cutting-edge technology demonstrations, and numerous networking opportunities for Penn State students who aspire to be trailblazers in whatever field they choose.

Last Updated April 15, 2014