Uber Advisor Opens New Consulting Firm To Tackle Startups' Regulatory Problems

Tusk Ventures Launching Monday as First Political Strategy Firm to Focus Solely on Helping Startups Navigate Government, Politics, Regulatory Hurdles

Direct Help for 10-12 Pre-IPO Companies A Year in Return for Equity


Aug 03, 2015, 08:30 ET from Tusk Ventures

NEW YORK, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Tusk Ventures, the nation's first political strategy firm focused solely on helping startups navigate the political, regulatory and media hurdles that come with disrupting an entrenched industry, formally launched its operations today. Through its team of political and regulatory experts and investment professionals, Tusk Ventures will annually select 10 to 12 young companies entering highly-regulated sectors and work with them in return for equity.

Tusk Ventures emerged from Tusk Strategies, which served as Uber's first regulatory consultant, beginning its work when the company was located in just one market. Tusk spent the next four years helping guide the regulatory efforts around Uber's market entry in cities across the United States, ranging from New York to Boston, Chicago to Philadelphia, Los Angeles to Washington DC.  Most recently, Tusk was instrumental in defeating the effort to impose an arbitrary cap on Uber's growth in New York City.

Tusk Ventures specializes in helping startups analyze and navigate regulatory and political challenges at local, state and national levels and pursue opportunities in the public sphere. It will be working with a diverse range of clients including Uber, General Assembly and Zendrive.  More companies will be announced this fall.  

The Firm is led by Bradley Tusk, who, before founding Tusk Strategies in 2010, served as Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign manager, Deputy Governor of Illinois, Communications Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Special Assistant to Mayor Bloomberg.

"The next generation of great tech-enabled startups are more likely to emerge in industries where government plays an active role as a regulator and where existing companies maintain close and longstanding relationships with elected officials. If startups can't handle the coming fights on the political, regulatory and media side, they'll have a very hard time succeeding. That's where we come in," said Bradley Tusk, Tusk Ventures' founder and CEO.

Specifically, Tusk Ventures will help startups:

  • Take on entrenched interests;
  • Receive regulatory approvals and fight off unwanted regulatory aggression;
  • Engage in campaigns to pass legislation and block passage of harmful legislation;
  • Pursue and win RFPs;
  • Receive licenses and permits;
  • Develop and burnish their public reputation;
  • Build the narrative and execute an earned media strategy;
  • Form partnerships with business groups, political leaders and relevant stakeholders;
  • Define the opposition and debunk their claims.

The Tusk Ventures team includes:

  • Bradley Tusk is the founder and CEO of Tusk Holdings, the parent company of Tusk Strategies, Tusk Ventures, Kronos Archives, the Ivory Gaming Group, and the Tusk Montgomery Family Foundation. Prior to creating Tusk Strategies in 2010, Bradley served as Mike Bloomberg's campaign manager and, before that, created and ran Lehman Brothers' lottery privatization group. His career in the public sector began at the New York City Parks Department in 1995, acting as spokesman. He then served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer before becoming Special Advisor to Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall. From 2003-2006, Bradley was Deputy Governor of Illinois, overseeing the state's finances, operations, legislation, communications and policy. Bradley currently serves on the boards of Creative Time, StoryCorps, and the New York Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land.
  • Jordan Nof is the Head of Investments at Tusk Ventures. Previously, Jordan spent six years as a Director at Blackstone, where he focused on developing the firm's corporate venture portfolio and led their first real estate technology  investment.
  • Matthew Yale will be joining Tusk Ventures on September 1, 2015 as Head of Regulatory Affairs and will serve as the day-to-day lead on client service and strategic counsel for all TV clients. Matthew was the former Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
  • Anatola He is the Investment Associate at Tusk Ventures. Ana joined Tusk Ventures after spending three years at J.P. Morgan, most recently focusing on corporate strategy and business development for the firm's Corporate and Investment Bank.
  • Marla Tusk is General Counsel of Tusk Ventures. Prior to joining TV, Marla spent three years as a Trial Attorney in the National Security Division at the Department of Justice and five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, where she served as Chief of the Appellate Unit.
  • Seth London is Vice President at Tusk Ventures. Seth is a veteran of the Obama White House, two presidential campaigns and Revolution, a Washington D.C.-based venture capital firm.
  • Scott Schwaitzberg is Managing Director at Tusk Ventures. Previously, Scott worked at Google.org, McKinsey & Company, Catchafire, and served New York City as Deputy Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson during the Bloomberg Administration.
  • Bob Greenlee is Managing Director at Tusk Ventures.  Bob previously served as Senior Advisor to the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition, the State of Illinois' center for technology-based economic development serving both State and local industry and university clients.
  • Marla Kanemitsu is Managing Director at Tusk Ventures. Marla previously practiced law as a partner at Dickstein Shapiro LLP counseling clients in the energy, manufacturing, financial services, retail, and insurance sectors.
  • Chris Coffey is Managing Director and leads the New York City practice for Tusk Ventures and for Tusk Strategies. Prior to joining Tusk, Chris worked for Mayor Mike Bloomberg for 12 years, serving at City Hall, on Bloomberg's three electoral campaigns, and at Bloomberg L.P.
  • Ed Mathias is a strategic advisor to Tusk Ventures. Ed was instrumental in the founding of The Carlyle Group and assisted in raising its initial capital. Today, he is a Managing Director at the firm and is a member of the firm's Board of Directors.

Tusk Ventures has offices in New York, Chicago and Miami. For more information, visit tuskventures.com.

SOURCE Tusk Ventures