Former Facebook, Google employees launch mentorship startup for local founders

by Liz Warren
May 18, 2018
Oceans
image via oceans

There’s a new company helping New York-based founders scale and solve problems as they arise.

Oceans, which got its name from Oceans 11, sits at the intersection of startups and VCs, and acts as a resource for entrepreneurs and an insurance policy for investors.

While you won’t find George Clooney and the gang anywhere in the company’s roster, the team has experience with a number of big names including Facebook, Google, Apple and Foursquare — where Ocean’s co-founders previously worked and made a big impact.

“Our unique backgrounds put us in the best position to mentor founders and teach them how to best tackle issues that arise when scaling a business,” said co-founder Steven Rosenblatt, who launched the company with Glenn Handler and Joshua Rahn. “Unlike the other players in the space, we’re partnering with startups in a hands-on way to really embed ourselves in their businesses, understand what they need help with and anticipate problems before they happen.”

But don’t group the company with incubators and accelerators — the team provides continued support to startups, even if a company has already completed a program in the past.

Unlike the other players in the space, we’re partnering with startups in a hands-on way to really embed ourselves in their businesses.”

The idea for the company came after Rahn left Facebook, where he grew the New York office and helped secure key partnerships. Upon talking to a number of different founders, he identified several common pain points they all shared — and it turns out that money wasn’t their biggest concern. In April alone, NYC tech startups raised a total of $629 million.

Instead, founders said that their main concerns were hiring the right people, having transparent conversations with board members and getting well-informed advice for business problems.

The Oceans team tackles these issues by working directly with founders to provide honest feedback that doesn’t necessarily happen in the boardroom. They provide tailored, proven strategies for expanding a business as well as plans for capital allocation.

“Every founder [Rahn] spoke with told him that raising money was not the issue,” said Rosenblatt. “We decided to assemble our areas of expertise to mentor, encourage and set a new generation of founders up for long-term success.”

The company officially launched in April and has a team of three co-founders and two managing partners.

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