David is the founder of the Tampa investment firm Florida Funders, the first online platform in Florida to use equity crowdfunding to invest in startups. To date the company has invested more than $5 million in 17 early stage companies and has recently raised a $10 million committed capital fund to invest alongside the "crowd." He recently founded another startup investment company, Seedfunders, which is focused on identifying pre-revenue technical concepts and supplying mentoring and funding to assist the founders in bringing their concept to market.
Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
I was very involved in civic organizations previously, but since I started Seedfunders, I’ve been 100 percent on Seedfunders. Irv Cohen, my partner, is really leading a lot of the work in the civic area for us.
What gets you out of bed every day?
The desire to succeed, and to get this thing launched and successful. We have four terms sheets out there now, and I’ve got to get these deals done. Get ‘em going and get ‘em done
Why St. Pete?
I was working for a company up in Michigan, and they wanted to open a local office. So I volunteered. Came down here, and within two years I started my own practice. So I’ve been unemployable for about 30 years now!
What is one habit that you keep?
Organizing my emails. You can get out of control with emails, and meetings and all that, and I found a way to organize emails years ago, to put them in folders, with dates. So I keep that concept going to keep productivity going. To keep me on track.
Who are some people that influence you?
I guess the best one I could think of would be Elon Musk. We watched that rocket launch the other day on TV, and then we went out on the balcony and we could see it going up. It was incredible.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
“Shoe Dog,” by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. It’s unbelievable what he went through, and how the banks turned on him. And he still survived. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to read that book.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
People said Florida Funding was never going to succeed, ‘because there’s no follow on funding. You might get these companies started, and get them in their first professional round, but when it comes down to the next round, there’s no money there.’ That’s changed tremendously.
My goal is to have a few partners, some investors, make these deals and make them early so that they pay off in the years to come.