Michael joined Lightspeed in 2013 as the firm’s Partner of Investor Relations. He manages all global investor relationships, fundraising efforts, and co-investment and capital-structuring opportunities. He also cultivates new relationships, partnerships, and areas of growth with prospective groups across the VC spectrum.
It’s a spectrum he knows well. After graduating from Northeastern University with a BA in international business and finance, Michael became an associate at Liberty Square Asset Management and, later, a vice president at Pomona Capital.
But his interest in the field of venture capital harks back to his childhood in New York, where his grandfather, an Italian immigrant who sold and cleaned furnaces, and his father, who built his first business out of the back of a van, were both entrepreneurs.
“I grew up appreciating the hustle, heartache, and tremendous sacrifice entrepreneurs make in pouring themselves into something they truly believe in,” he says. “The entrepreneurial ride, whether you are a small family business or a global enterprise, is rarely a smooth one.”
But that’s where he thrives, he says: “I like the pace, grit, and hustle of a place that is always moving, shifting, and changing within and outside of itself.”
When he isn’t pouring himself into his work, he’s got his eye on the viewfinder of a camera, shooting black-and-white street photography or crafting social documentaries—a hobby he likens to entrepreneurship. “The most successful entrepreneurs,” he says, “are always the most eloquent in harnessing some creative tool to make their story more accessible, more real, and more relevant.”