Martin Babinec- Managing Director 

I founded TriNet in 1988, serving as the CEO for the company’s first 20 years and Chairman till 2010. TriNet helps entrepreneurs realize their ambition by our handling human resources, benefits, payroll, employer compliance, workers comp and a variety of strategic human capital management functions to attract and retain top talent.

Today we are about 2,000 team members strong and are the largest independent cloud based HR service provider in the U.S. We service 8,000+ clients and generate revenues of about $1.5 billion a year.

While I remain active as a large shareholder and Director at TriNet, in addition to startup investing I spend time building things that help connect entrepreneurs to resources who can help them.

My related activities are profiled in more detail on my personal site.

Michael Sciotti- Venture Associate 

Michael joined UpVentures in June 2017 and is responsible for evaluating new deal flow, financial modeling, portfolio management, installation of the ProSeeder platform, and growing the UpVentures Investor Network.

Prior to joining UpVentures, Michael attended the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester where he received his MS in Finance and graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma distinction. While at Simon, Michael was an analyst on the Simon School Venture Fund. Michael also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Management from Wells College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Michael is also working with Upstate Venture Connect (UVC) as a consultant for the CEO Connect program. Michael’s main responsibilities are to interview candidates for the program and monitor the impact of connections between selected company CEOs, UNY50, and other members of the UVC network.

Mike Krupit- Venture Partner 

Mike Krupit is the veteran of eight diverse startups, on both the east and west coast, and has been a fixture in the booms and busts of the last three decades of tech. He is the founder and lead coach for Trajectify, turning Founders into CEOs, guiding entrepreneurs of young companies and small businesses to help them to cross the chasm, find and develop opportunities and organizations, and grow.

His story is one of a young software geek that grew from CTO to COO to CEO. He honed his management skills and business prowess with young companies as they became successful exits and mature businesses, including three IPOs, a bunch of mergers and acquisitions, and a turn-around. Mike spent a decade in Silicon Valley where he helped build Verity (a pioneer in search engines, IPO and sold to Autonomy/HP) and KnowledgeSet (one of the first companies to put data on a CD). In the Northeast, he developed the e-commerce technology and operations at online music pioneer, CDNOW, was part of taking the company public, later becoming CDNOW’s CEO. Mike also worked with Infonautics (a pioneer in online information services) and Knite, a spin-out from Princeton University to commercialize an innovation to the spark plug.

Why I’m a Startup Investor

I’ve been working alongside emerging tech companies since starting TriNet 25+ years ago. Seen a ton of change in the startup space over that time. Not only evolving technology and markets, but also business practices around how high performing teams build and adapt, as well as how smart investors nurture fledgling companies to success.

It’s only been more recently that I began putting some of what I’ve learned to work in being an investor myself. Early stage investing carries lots of risk – its a long and tortuous road for a private company to succeed at returning money to shareholders.

So as I work through the steps of helping my portfolio companies build value, I find some of the financial risk offset by positives like:

  • keeping me current with what’s going on in the tech world [and relevant to my kids!];
  • meeting and hanging out with interesting people, especially startup entrepreneurs and like minded investors;
  • building a network of resources that I frequently draw upon to help startups;
  • and the intrinsic satisfaction that comes with playing a meaningful role in helping an entrepreneur create something from nothing, create jobs that support families, serve customers and impact the community through all the things a company can do.

Are you interested in being a startup investor?

I welcome hearing from others who are interested in becoming angel and seed stage investors. Depending on your location and interests, I may be able to put you in touch with people or organizations that might be suitable resources to check out. You might also subscribe to my blog or Twitter feed as I’ll be posting investor related content too.

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