Charlie O’Donnell may not be be loved by every last entrepreneur in New York, but they all know him — or will. Indeed, while plenty of young venture capitalists do their share of networking to stay in the game, O’Donnell is a networking maestro in comparison. He doesn’t just make introductions, appear at conferences and attend parties; he creates the parties, organizes the communities and regularly comes up with new ways to drum up deal flow.
It’s a ways from where O’Donnell thought he would be not so long ago. In the summer of 2009, O’Donnell’s startup, Path 101, was running on fumes, unable to attract Series A funding. When he ran into Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital at a popular event that O’Donnell organizes, both spotted a match. First Round had sewn up a dozen deals in New York but wanted to be better plugged in. O’Donnell — who worked in junior roles at both General Motors Pension Fund and Union Square Ventures before starting Path 101 — needed a job.