Meet the Team

Charlie O’Donnell

For 20 years, Charlie has been a mainstay in the New York City startup and innovation community–starting as the first analyst at Union Square Ventures after working in the General Motors pension fund’s venture capital and private equity group. He went on to help First Round Capital open up their NYC office in 2009, where he sourced investments in GroupMe, Singleplatform, Moat, and Backupify among others.

In 2012, he started Brooklyn Bridge Ventures–the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn– and funded over 100 local startup companies including Hungryroot, Petal Card, Brigit, Shortcut, Radformation, and Imagen, while also building a reputation for being the most accessible early-stage investor in New York.

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures made its final investment in early 2023, resulting in a portfolio where 40% of the companies were female-founded, 30% have a BIPOC founder and 9% have a Black founder, reflecting the diversity of the city’s entrepreneurial workforce and the firm’s dedication to inclusivity.

Charlie is one of only a dozen individuals named to Business Insider’s 100 Most Influential People in NY Tech five times or more and has been featured on City & State’s Tech Power 50.

He has spoken at SXSW and Techcrunch Disrupt and has taught entrepreneurship and various other business and technology courses at Fordham University and NYU-Poly. He is also on the leadership committee of Tech:NYC, an industry group representing New York City’s technology industry with government, civic institutions, in business, and in the media.

In 2010, after volunteering with the Downtown Boathouse in Lower Manhattan for seven years, he co-founded the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse to promote human-powered boating in Brooklyn Bridge Park and safe public recreational access to the East River and New York Harbor. The program, which he has recently returned to as President, put 9,000 paddlers on the water in 2022 thanks to the help of over 150 volunteers.

Charlie competes in triathlons and is a member of the Brooklyn Triathlon Club. He also competes with car traffic as a New York City bicycle commuter. He is an 18-year veteran of the same local co-ed softball team, which he captains, and can regularly be found on Prospect Park’s ice rink playing goalie on Friday nights in the winter.

Charlie is a resident of Park Slope and the President of the Co-op that he lives in with his wife and daughter. You can find his writing at since 2004.

Charlie O’Donnell
Charlie O’Donnell
Brooklyn Bridge Ventures
Request a meeting
News & Highlights