5 Questions with David Cynn: Triphammer Managing Partner
April 12, 2021 | Ashley Brindamour
We are pleased to welcome David Cynn as Managing Partner of Triphammer Ventures, Alumni Ventures’ fund for Cornell alumni and friends of the community. David is a proud Cornell graduate with 20 years of experience as a venture capital and private equity investor. We recently caught up with David to learn how he came to join Triphammer Ventures.
Will you share your background prior to joining Triphammer Ventures?
I have 20 years of experience as a venture capital, and private equity investor focused on fintech and specialty finance investments. I’ve invested over $500 million of investor capital and served on the board of many corporations, both private and publicly traded.
Before joining Triphammer Ventures, I was a Founder and Managing Partner at Killearn Capital, a private investment firm focused on venture capital and private equity in the fintech and specialty finance sectors. Before that, I was a Managing Director and Investment Committee member at Lightyear Capital, a multi-billion dollar financial services-oriented private equity firm where I focused on growth-oriented specialty finance businesses.
I’m a proud Cornell graduate who graduated from the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in 1991. I was the inaugural winner of the Dr. & Mrs. Paul E. Felton Entrepreneurship Award. I am honored to currently serve as the Chairperson of Cornell’s Alumni Advisory Council at the Dyson School and as a member of the Advisory Council for the SC Johnson College of Business.
I also hold a 1998 MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where I was named a Wallman Scholar after graduating in the top 5% of the class.
How did your time at Cornell impact you, personally and professionally?
Cornell was one of the greatest experiences of my life: I laid the foundation of my professional career, met several of my closest friends, and matured into a young adult while there. Professionally, my Cornell network has been unbelievable and has opened more doors for me than I could ever have imagined.
What sparked your interest in working at Triphammer?
As you may be able to see, my background is quite similar to my predecessor Steve Greenberg, who actively recruited me to step into the role he created as he wanted someone he trusted to maintain and grow the impressive franchise he founded. Steve and I have been friends and colleagues for over 30 years, and our careers have roughly mirrored each other over that time. I served as a sounding board for Steve as he founded Triphammer Ventures several years ago.
What trends in venture capital are you most excited about?
At its heart, VC is about supporting new ideas that disrupt the status quo. I love meeting with entrepreneurs and learning how they plan to transform our society for the better!
What resources do you recommend to people interested in venture capital or entrepreneurship (books, podcasts, etc.)?
I like the 20 minute VC generally, and one of my favorite sector podcasts that provides great overall VC insights is the Retail X Series podcast by Sapna Shah!