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Sean Ammirati '01

Sean Ammirati '01

Sean 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 2011.

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 startups.

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 business.”

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 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.