2021 Recap: Photos & Numbers from Waterman Ventures

Check out some of the 2021 highlights and milestones from Alumni Ventures Brown Fund

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2 min

A fireplace, a rocking chair, and a mild case of COVID — in other words, a quiet/quarantined moment to reflect on the numbers, people, and photos that shaped Waterman in 2021.

Three New Investment Committee Members to Help Us Evaluate Investment Opportunities

  • Ethan Bernstein ’07 whose last company FreeBird (Waterman portfolio company) in the travel industry was acquired by Capital One
  • Michael Liou ‘90 began his career at Goldman Sachs and has been an active venture investor including early in Robinhood, Zapier, and Carbon Health. Michael is head of strategy & growth at Chooch.ai (Waterman portfolio)
  • Naveen Rao PHD‘11 whose last company Nervana (AI software) was acquired by Intel and sits on the Board of Square and NeuReality (Waterman portfolio)

Ethan, Michael, and Naveen join our illustrious existing group including the ever bike-riding Professor Barret Hazeltine, venture capitalists, founders, and investors. More here. 

Left to Right: Ethan, Michael, Naveen

23 New Companies

Many with great Brown connections, all with great potential and past the highest-risk angel stage. See 3-minute clips for some below, others can be seen on our portfolio page


Finance for women, by women.

See video policy below.


⅛ vacation home ownership, warning: reviewing listings can be addictive.

See video policy below.


Improved 911 data to save lives.

See video policy below.


Team problem solving for 8-14-year-olds by the creator of Elon Musk’s school – my daughter is a fan!

See video policy below.


Workflow creation for rapid, improved onboarding and training.

See video policy below.

One New Analyst & Eight New Fellows

Cameron Deere: BA ‘20, MS ‘21 Venture Analyst

Eight Brown alumni Fellows participants in our one-year, part-time VC career on-ramp. A great way that we support the education and success of the Brown community, beyond our investments. 

Hundreds of Ways We Supported Our Portfolio Companies and Investors

  • Portfolio company to portfolio company: wonderful to introduce our CEOs and see the sparks of opportunity arise
  • Investors to portfolio companies: as advisors, Board members, and new employees
  • Portfolio companies to sales leads: e.g. intro to 7 Fortune 500 Human Resources leads (from our vast 600K+ Alumni Ventures community)
  • Or just talking through a rough patch with a Founder

New Techniques, New Growth, New Environment

  • Launched 1-1 investor chats: enabling our investors to meet one another and talk about Brown, life, work or anything else two fellow alum may find of interest, i.e. infinite possibilities.
  • 1 new venture club: HBCU & Friends, a forum for founders and the community to mutually support one another. Similar clubs for New York University and Pepperdine are in the works.
  • Nearly ~$900M: Alumni Ventures, our parent organization, has raised ~$900M, >6x more than when I joined the company <4 years ago
  • 6 US offices: While Waterman is based in our new NYC office (see image; not my thinning spot), our group has offices in Boston, Chicago, Menlo Park, Austin, and Manchester, NH

Lastly, not related to Waterman, but a note of congratulations to the Brown Endowment as the highest performing Ivy League endowment for the 3rd year in a row at 51.5% — in no small part driven by their investments in, you guessed it, venture capital, “Private equity funds, which represent 39% of investments, generated an 86.8% return.”

2022 will bring new opportunities to invest in the future on behalf of our Brown investors and friends. If you know of a company that may be a fit, please introduce us!

I wish you and your family a wonderful New Year!


        Ludwig ‘96

        Dave ‘09

        Cameron ‘20, MS‘21

Waterman Ventures seeks to build wealth for Brown investors and friends through professional venture capital portfolios enabled by a ~$900M alumni-network powered group, Alumni Ventures.

To learn more, click below to review fund materials or book a call with a Senior Partner.

Contact [email protected] for additional information. To see additional risk factors and investment considerations, visit av-funds.com/disclosures.