Apr. 7 MIT Enterprise Forum NY event: Collaborative Investing Startups

I look forward to attending a MIT Enterprise Forum of New York panel on April 7, 5-8pm, titled, “The Smart Money of Crowds: Collaborative Investing Startups”. We are fortunate to have as our moderator Roger Ehrenber of http://informationarbitrage.com .  Our speakers are the CEOs or managers of SumZero, Financial Times Alphaville/Long Room , StockTwits, and Covestor. Incidentally, SumZero was just featured in FINAlternatives

If you can’t attend the event in person, you can follow the conversation via Twitter hashtag MIT0407.  For an introduction to how to use Twitter hashtags, see http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/archive/2008/03/11/an-introduction-to-twitter-hashtags.aspx .

Register here.

Among the issues we will discuss:  

  • What is the quantitative track records of these services in increasing investment returns? Comment on the studies showing that individual investors underperform indices (on average), and individual investor groups underperform individual investors acting alone.
  • How do collaborative investors determine membership criteria for their services?
  • How do these firms handle reputation management: rating of contributors and contributions; minimization of gaming and spam; and compliance issues?
  • What are the business models used by these firms? (ads, subscription, using investment information)
  • What is the value proposition?
  • How do these startups increase returns? Do they provide investors with valuable data? With access to insights from other investors? Are they educational? Do they help with trade execution?





 Roger Ehrenberg

Managing Partner of IA Capital Partners, LLC

 Roger Ehrenberg is Managing Partner of IA Capital Partners, LLC, his personal venture investing vehicle. IA has made 27 investments since 2004, principally in the areas of digital media and financial technology. IA`s portfolio companies include TheLadders.com, Mimeo.com, Clickable, Covestor, BlogTalkRadio, Buddy Media, Silicon Alley Insider and Stocktwits. Roger was also an original investor in Wallstrip (sold to CBS Interactive) and MyTrade (sold to Investools), sits on five Boards of Directors and advises the gaming company Genesis Interactive and the location-based messaging platform Socialight.

 Prior to founding IA, Roger spent 18 years on Wall Street in Mergers & Acquisitions, Derivatives and Trading. Most recently, Roger was President and CEO of DB Advisors, the $6 billion multi-strategy hedge fund trading platform of Deutsche Bank. As head of derivatives businesses at both Citibank and Deutsche Bank, Roger`s teams twice won awards, securing Global Finance magazine`s `Interest Rate Deal of the Year` in 1998 and Institutional Investor magazine`s `Equity Derivative Deal of the Year` in 2000.

 Roger has penned the popular business and technology blog Information Arbitrage since July 2006, and has had over 1 million readers since inception. He has also been interviewed broadly on topics ranging from hedge fund regulation and algorithmic trading to deep-web search and building vertical communities by The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC, NPR, Reuters, CNBC and many others.

 Roger received his Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Michigan/Ann Arbor, and his Masters of Business Administration from Columbia Business School. Roger is Trustee of the Little Red School House/Elisabeth Irwin High School and a Board Member of the Integrative Pediatrics Council. He lives in New York City with his wife Carin and two boys.

 Divya Narendra

Founder and CEO, SumZero

 Before founding SumZero, Divya was an Associate at Sowood Capital Management, a $3.5B multi-strategy hedge fund located in Boston, MA. At Sowood, Divya analyzed investment opportunities across the capital structure, spanning credit and equity. Prior to this, he was an analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Credit Suisse Securities in NYC. In 2004, during his senior year at Harvard College, Divya co-founded ConnectU.com, an online social network dedicated to the university community, and predecessor of Facebook.

 SumZero is the largest online community of professional investors worldwide, currently consisting of more than 1,200 analysts/PMs from nearly every well-known buyside fund. The site is free to use, but membership is by invitation-only. Each member lists 3 or more tickers for companies he/she has extensively researched. As such, an analyst can search for a company he is interested in and find the buyside analyst at another leading firm who has already spent months researching that name and initiate a dialogue. As a by-product, an analyst grows his network. SumZero also contains a fully searchable database of concise investment write-ups focussed on valuation. Though not required, only those members who contribute an idea can access the database. Please email divya@sumzero.com for more information and an invitation to join.         

 Stacy-Marie Ishmael

Writer, Financial Times Alphaville/Long Room 

 Stacy-Marie Ishmael is a New York-based writer and blogger for FT Alphaville, the Financial Times’ award-winning blog. Her responsibilities also include FT Alphaville`s Long Room, which is a “digital restaurant” where finance professionals are encouraged to share research and comment on the work of others. Stacy-Marie is actively involved in the development of the FT Alphaville platform and brand.

 FT Alphaville is a Webby-award winning blog focused on global financial markets, with a team spanning London, Tokyo and New York. The Long Room, which was launched in October 2008, is a members-only extension of the main site, focusing on comment and analysis. Both FT Alphaville and the Long Room are free to readers (an FT subscription is not required to access content) and are supported primarily by display advertising opportunities on the site and in FT Alphaville`s email briefings. In the case of the Long Room, revenue is generated from the sponsorship of “digital tables”.


Howard Lindzon

StockTwits Founder

 Born in Toronto, live in Phoenix with a loyal wife (11 years, 12.5 in Canadian), two awesome kids and a dachshund. Schools – University of Western Ontario, Arizona State University, American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). I currently manage a hedge fund and have done so since June of 1998. The fund has evolved into a long only fund with approximately 50 percent in equities and 50 percent in private investments. In the Summer of 2006, I created Wallstrip and with the help of Adam Elend, Jeff Marks, Lindsay Campbell and a hard working crew we have created over 300 shows. In May 2007, Wallstrip was purchased by CBS and I continue to work with CBS and Wallstrip today. I am a partner in two other funds calledKnight`s Bridge Capital Partners .

 Stocktwits is a social, stock microblogging service. StockTwits is an open, community-powered idea and information service for investments. Users can eavesdrop on traders and investors, or contribute to the conversation and build their reputation as savvy market wizards. The service takes financial related data – using Twitter as the content production platform – and structures it by stock, user, reputation, etc.      


Rikki Tahta

Co-Founder Covestor

 Rikki Tahta has held a number of senior roles in Finance and Information Services. Previous start-ups include ARK Information (acquired by Thomson Financial), WebTrack (acquired by Jupiter Communications – later public on NASDAQ), Steelhead Systems (acquired by Merrill Lynch) and Bookpages (acquired by Amazon.com). Other positions include Chase Capital Partners (private equity) and Thomson Financial (Securities Data Corporation). Rikki lives in New York and loves fishing. Username: RikkiTahta

 Covestor is a portfolio sharing service for proven self-investors and for those wishing to track them. Tens of thousands of self directed investors share their real trades and you can follow them live for free. Covestor is funded by New York based Union Square Ventures, Boston based Spark Capital and London based Amadeus Capital Partners. We also have a strategic investment from Independent News and Media Group.

 Register here.