“We wanted to identify the brightest stars in the industry, and then create connections between them.”
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Senior Managing Director, Constellation Ventures
On his Adelphi experience: “I chose Adelphi at my wife’s (Joyce Comito Friedman B.B.A. ’78, M.B.A. ’82) recommendation. It offered me the opportunity to move my career from the technology path to the business path.”
Holds patents for: Antenna design concepts, developed at his first job as a development engineer at Wheeler Labs in the late 1980s.
Advice to students: “Take advantage of the opportunity to work and attend college at the same time. You will learn from both experiences at once. Don’t be afraid to change careers and leverage off your past experiences.”
Charting the Stars on Wall Street
“The market was my first, and has been my main hobby,” says Clifford Friedman, Senior Managing Director of Constellation Ventures, a private equity fund with Bear, Stearns Asset Management.
“Times of great technological disconnect create great investment and career opportunities.”
His is not a casual observation. In his current role, he works with dozens of emerging and growing media companies.
“We chose the name Constellation Ventures deliberately,” he explains, “because we wanted to identify the brightest stars in the industry, and then create connections between them.”
Mr. Friedman takes a unique view on the role of the venture capital he oversees.
“We are not silent, or majority owners,” he says, “but active business partners. We want to bring together great ideas with strategic experience and partnerships.”
One of his proudest investments is CSTV Networks, which coincidentally webcasts Adelphi’s intercollegiate sports. “CSTV was really the combination of a great idea with a great management team.”
Mr. Friedman started with Bear, Stearns Inc. as an institutional research analyst, where he earned all-star ranking. After several years, he predicted the impact that digital convergence would have on the marketplace and sought out a position with NBC.
“I wanted real operational experience in the media world,” he recalls.
After working on the team that created MSNBC and shaped NBC’s Latin American growth strategy, he joined Universal Pictures to work on the studio’s digital initiatives. For two years, he commuted from Long Island to Los Angeles, before returning to Bear, Stearns in 1998 to found Constellation Ventures.
Mr. Friedman is optimistic about the future of multimedia ventures.
“We really have the potential for unparalleled growth,” he says. “Governments around the world are mandating the switch from analog to digital TV. This will enable broadcasters for the first time in their history, to develop multiple revenue sources besides just advertising.”
“The mobile phone will soon become your remote control of the future. You will be able to watch live television on your mobile phone as well as use it to pay for everything, ranging from plane tickets to a cup of coffee.”
A devoted fan of lacrosse, which he played until 2003, Mr. Friedman even predicts the sports will have its digital day. “Lacrosse can be shown on TV like any other sport, it will only become bigger and bigger.”
Based on Mr. Friedman’s record, his predictions can’t be ignored.
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