Skip to Content
MIT News magazine

Brad Feld '87, SM '88

MIT evokes Necco wafers and entrepreneurial buddies

For Brad Feld, MIT will always remind him of Necco wafers and the friendships he forged while living in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity house on Mass Ave. “ADP and the smell of Neccos are inseparable for me,” says Feld, an early-stage venture capital investor and cofounder of Foundry Group, based in Boulder, CO, where he currently serves as managing director.

In ADP, Feld lived with other future entrepreneurs, including John Underkoffler ‘88, SM ‘91, PhD ‘99, and Kevin Parent ‘87, cofounders of Oblong, a company that makes gesture-activated computer interfaces; Foundry Group has invested in it since 2007. Other housemates included iRobot founder Colin Angle ‘89, SM ‘91, and ATG cofounders Jeet Singh ‘85 and Joe Chung ‘86.

“I got to spend four years with extraordinarily smart, talented people,” Feld says. “Their companies are the evidence of that. But beneath the success stories, there are formidable emotional and intellectual bonds that form among people at the Institute.”

By 2004, Feld was interested in backing startups that focus on user-generated content. “I deeply believe that I should have a good understanding of what I’m investing in,” he says. So he started a blog, Feld Thoughts (www.feld.com).

“To me, learning how this stuff worked wasn’t just reading about it and observing but actually participating,” says Feld, who also blogs at www.askthevc.com. “Blogging is hugely valuable to our business. We’re visible, we’re approachable, we’re transparent.”

In his work for Foundry Group, Feld serves on the boards of startups such as Gist, Gnip, Zynga, and Oblong. Previously, he cofounded Mobius Venture Capital and, before that, served as chief technology officer of AmeriData Technologies, which bought his successful software consulting firm, Feld Technologies, in 1987.

Feld and his wife, writer Amy Batchelor, live in Eldorado Springs, CO. They collect contemporary painting and sculpture and read voraciously. Feld also runs as enthusiastically as he invests. His goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states; he’s completed 14 and plans to run in six in 2010.

But Feld’s heart–or at least his nose–remains on Mass Ave. “Sometimes,” he admits, “I actually miss the smell of Necco wafers in the morning.”

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

individual aging affects covid outcomes concept
individual aging affects covid outcomes concept

Anti-aging drugs are being tested as a way to treat covid

Drugs that rejuvenate our immune systems and make us biologically younger could help protect us from the disease’s worst effects.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.