Ammirati ’01 has spent the last 12 years commercializing his own high-tech,
high-growth startups in media and software industries. His latest vision,
however, is to invest in and encourage other young entrepreneurs through his
partnership with Birchmere Ventures. Given Ammirati’s own impressive track
record, who better to offer counsel to these hopefuls?
Ammirati’s ability to counsel entrepreneurs comes from
personal experience. His first start-up was Peak Strategy, which analyzed and
identified valuable patterns throughout years of second-by-second data about
company stocks for traders. The company was acquired by Morgan Stanley.
Ammirati also co-founded mSpoke, which analyzed content on the Internet in a
similar manner, predicting which content would be most relevant to individual
users. mSpoke was acquired by LinkedIn and is used to customize individual
users’ online experience. Most recently, Ammirati spent two years as CEO of
ReadWriteWeb, one of the most influential Internet sites about the future of
technology and innovation, a site that was acquired by SAY Media in December
Now, Ammirati is reaching out to the next generation of
entrepreneurs. In 2012, he joined Birchmere Ventures as the partner leading
Birchmere Labs, a seed and studio fund focused on community-driven commerce
Ammirati, whose focus is software, mobile and Internet, is
one of three partners that will then join the young company’s board and invest
both time and money in helping the business to grow.
“People who invest in Birchmere turn around and invest in
the best companies that we interact with and help them succeed,” Ammirati said. “It’s more than
investing. It’s rolling up our sleeves and working with them to grow their
Mom Trusted is the first company to benefit from this support
through Birchmere Labs. Mom Trusted is a social exchange built on top of
Facebook to help parents find the best preschool and childcare for their
children. The site www.momtrusted.com uses Facebook Connect to optimize
parents’ search abilities.
“It was the perfect match of good business, a good team and
interesting early progress,” Ammirati said.
Ammirati invests his time and expertise in people starting
businesses outside of Birchmere Ventures as well. He’s currently an adjunct
professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School,
holding workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and teaching classes. He also
continues to serve on the advisory board to the Department of Entrepreneurship
at Grove City College.
“It’s something that I’ve found a lot of fulfillment and
purpose in and it’s a real joy to help others pursue their dreams, just like
I’ve done,” Ammirati said.