Jim Cohen and Mark Poag of Fitz Gate Ventures discuss their firm in a live Q&A format. Fitz Gate Ventures is a Princeton, NJ based venture fund that invests in Seed stage companies across any industry. In this AMA, Jim and Mark discuss advice for founders seeking funding currently and in the near future, how they approach investing, and why they see Houston as a prime place for investment.

Jim Cohen is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Fitz Gate. Jim is an experienced public company officer and director with a background in investment banking, corporate law, private equity and M&A/strategy. Jim’s career has been focused on making investments in growing businesses.

Mark Poag is also Co-Founder and Managing Director As a successful software entrepreneur that helped lead a company from start-up, through rapid growth, market dominance and ultimate strategic sale, Mark has first-hand experience of what it takes to start, grow and sell a successful business.


Start & Introductions by Joey: 3:50

Handover to Fitzgate: 5:11

Self-introduction by Mark: 6:00

Self-introduction by Jim: 8:27

Intro to Fitz Gate: 11:10

Details of investment: 13:15

“How do we add value to our startups?”: 14:15

More details about the Friends of Fitz: 17:15

Rice Class on VC: 23:38

“How do you see the early stage investment landscape shifting as we try to do everything virtually? Do you think investing will be slower and lower in magnitude?” 27:20

“Even though challenging, how is the current economic crunch helping portfolio companies (if it is)?” 34:50

“For founders you haven’t built a previous relationship with, what is your preferred method to reach out to you?” 38:45

“What’s your methodology for evaluating pre-revenue companies? What are the key indicators you look for?” 45:20

“Are there any verticals you have seen in Houston that are encouraging to you, FinTech, SportsTech, etc.?” 49:40

“How important is protection of ‘your idea’ (IP) (patents)?” 53:15

“Are there any specific skills or experiences you recommend developing in an effort to try to get into VC in the future?” 57:12

Final comments 1:01:00 

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