The Network

About the network

Our network provides the experience, strategic direction, management and investors to transform a new idea into a leading company.  That’s the work in our network.

Visualization inspired by the
Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis, UCSD


We support obsessive missionaries with big ideas.  If you have a brilliant idea, we’d like to talk to you about it.


“Other venture capital firms often come in, significantly dilute the other shareholdings, and take over the management team. Spencer Trask is a venture capital firm with a gentler approach.” –Joe Farrelly,  former CIO of Aventis, RJR, Interpublic Group, and Aperture 




Turn your experience into equity.  Make an impact.

When you’ve reached the top of your game, so doing something that matters —  really matters.  As an advisor or coach, you can make a real impact working with a dynamic young company. Applying your experience to a new venture can actually improve your ROI. You get the best of both worlds: a positive impact and a return in the process.


Corporate Partners

Corporate partners are an important part of the Spencer Trask network.

Spencer Trask assists major companies with products or divisions which no longer fit in their organization.  We’re able to infuse new life into spin-offs by adding fresh perspective, new talent and capital.




Each venture is unique, so each funding depends on the individual preferences of the entrepreneur or founder.  The ideal financing might come from friends and family, private or public investors, venture capital firms or strategic partners. Our results demonstrate the wisdom of flexibility when considering the source of funding.

New ventures often start out with ‘friends and family’ investors. This is how STCI, for example, was funded before their strategic partner, Manpower, came to the table. Other firms seek a private shareholder base of high net worth investors, much like InnoCentive did. A public company, such as SmartServe, can offer virtually anyone registered stock. On the other hand, Ciena was funded by strategic investors and venture capital firms.  Next Level Communication was financed by our corporate partners, General Instrument Corporation and Motorola. These partners wanted the Spencer Trask team to manage the venture, but had no need for outside investors.  Our results demonstrate the value of such flexibility.


Open Innovation

Based on our innovation experience, we are redefining the innovation process itself.  Open innovation accesses the cognitive surplus and passion of people in all four corners of the world.  To accomplish this, we have built two award-winning, Open Innovation platforms:

inno360.  This platform harnesses the talents of millions of innovators around the globe.  Its client base is made up industry leading corporations (like Walt Disney and P&G) in a dozen industries.

InnoCentive.  Combining social networking with social purpose, this pioneer in prize-based awards is leading the open innovation revolution.

“We have gotten some amazing results from InnoCentive.”  – Judith Rodin, CEO of the Rockefeller Foundation