On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Nasir Ali, Managing Partner at StartFast Ventures.
Nasir has been building a high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem across Upstate New York for the past 18 years and investing as an early-stage VC since 2007. Nasir launched The Syracuse Technology Garden incubator in 2004, followed in 2007 by the Seed Capital Fund of CNY, Upstate NY’s first angel investor fund. In 2010, Nasir joined with TriNet founder Martin Babinec to form Upstate Venture Connect, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has helped organize six angel funds in Upstate New York; built an online communications platform that reaches more than 15,000 startup community members; created the UNY50 Entrepreneur Leadership group; and established the Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards.
Nasir also co-founded and is the Managing Director of StartFast Fund I, Upstate NY’s only private capital-backed startup accelerator program. Nasir’s 60 portfolio companies have raised over $300MM. He is a board member and highly sought out advisor to numerous entities including the NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund, Next Gen Venture Partners, Fitzgate Ventures, and multiple portfolio companies. Nasir received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University. He also holds an MBA from Yale University and resides in Rochester, NY.
Nasir discusses the state of startup investing and his investment thesis. He advises investors and entrepreneurs and shares some of the challenges they face.