Edison turns 30 this year! Each Friday through year end, we'll be giving you a little blast from the past. True to the Edison Ethos, this photo blog campaign emphasizes an important fact that here at Edison we are candid -- refreshingly and uncomfortably.
The countdown continues with only 9 days until Christmas and 8 days until Hanukkah, but for those anxiously awaiting to rock your tackiest holiday sweaters - the time is now! National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has become an international event for all who have had to pose in painfully awkward matching family sweater sets for holiday cards; received a big overly embellished homemade sweater, or in the case of our next Edisonian just have an incredible sense of humor and style!
Edisonian of the Week: Michael Kopelman - Then & Now
Q: What brought you to Edison Partners?
A: I actually joined Edison the summer of 2004 as a summer intern! Previously, I worked in New York and San Francisco and then made the decision to move to Philly for business school. My wife found a great job in Philly so we decided to stay in the region. I had always been interested in getting into the principal side of investing and targeted the Philadelphia/Jersey area for a job. I had worked with Tom Vander Schaaff about 20 years ago in New York (they called me Doogie Howser – because I always looked young), and then again 15 years ago in San Francisco. So, it seemed only fitting for me to continue to stalk him! Ultimately I got a summer internship and came back full-time to Edison in 2005.
Q: What's your favorite aspect of working here? Any particular highlights worth noting?
A: What excites me most about Edison is the people. We’ve assembled the greatest group of people I’ve ever worked with. We play to win, but we also know how to have fun and don’t take ourselves too seriously. One great memory was our bowling event – perhaps it was because I dominated? I’m probably one of the least athletic of our group, so definitely caught the group by surprise. And, no Judi, I didn’t practice bowling at camp.
Q: What is the biggest difference of 1986 vs now? Any favorite 80s memories or pastimes?
A: Probably the biggest difference for me is that I have a driver's license, which is super cool. The 80’s rock...loved the movies, especially National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). I can probably still recite every line. One of my favorite games was Monopoly. It’s not a surprise that I didn’t end up a botanist.
Q: From playing Monopoly as a kid to now leading Edison's Fintech team, would you say you always had a pretty good idea of what you wanted in a career, even at a young age?
A: Yeah, I’m sure my capitalist streak was ingrained at a young age. My father has been a Professor of Management in New York for the last 40+ years so business was absolutely a part of my childhood. My grandfather was a successful entrepreneur and it seems to have permeated... both my brother and I ended up as investors. I see it in my 10-year old son now, as well. His favorite shows are The Profit and Shark Tank!
Q: What motto do you live by and how did you hear it?
A: Well I used to have a poster in my room with a quote from Henry Ford that said, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” It’s left a lasting impression on me. It’s amazing how much the mind plays into success. I see it each and every day with the awesome entrepreneurs Edison has the privilege to work with.
Q: If you had an opportunity to interview anyone, who would it be and why?
A: Definitely Ben Franklin. He was a real renaissance man: scientist, diplomat, innovator. He was a pretty influential figure in shaping this country, not to mention the founder of Penn, which is not only my alma mater but where I met my wife.
In the 1986 photo on the left, he may not be Zack Morris but 11-year-old Michael could have been on Saved by the Bell with his 80s oversized brightly colored sweater. Pictured on the right, Michael was the perfect model for his new website headshot photo shoot.
We hope you'll join us on this #EdisonTurns30 campaign. Any and all contributions from our network are most welcome.