Jonathan Axelrod is Co-Founder and Managing Director of ERA, New York City’s leading technology accelerator and early stage venture capital fund. He has held this position for all 18 accelerator cohorts and all Expansion Funds. Since launching in 2011, ERA has invested in more than 215 startups that are already playing leading roles in the evolution of virtually every major global industry.
As a technology and media entrepreneur, Jonathan is a veteran of emerging technologies in several fields. He has been an active entrepreneur, investor, and start-up advisor for two decades.
Jonathan was previously Co-Founder and Co-CEO of MusicGremlin a venture-backed startup that was sold to SanDisk Corporation. The company created first-to-market technology in both software and hardware around wireless technologies and the delivery of digital media to wireless devices. Its Gremlin player was named one of Time Magazine’s “All Time Top 100 Gadgets,” and the company launched the first entirely cloud-based music service. Jonathan and the company were recognized with multiple innovation awards. He is the co-inventor on more than 20 issued and pending patents based on related inventions.
Prior to launching MusicGremlin, Jonathan was Co-Founder and President of Music123, a first-mover musical instrument e-commerce company that became one of the largest musical instrument retailers in the United States. Founded in 1999, Music123 grew from startup to profitable market leader in less than four years; it is now a brand of Guitar Center.
Jonathan currently serves on the Investment Advisory Committee of New York State’s Innovation Venture Capital Fund, and is on the Board of Overseers of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He is also an active member of the early-stage technology community, frequently speaking at events and on panels related to innovation, venture capital, and building startups both in New York and internationally. He is a contributor to various publications, including The Wall Street Journal, on topics related to entrepreneurship.
Jonathan started his career as a McKinsey & Company consultant, where he focused on e-commerce initiatives and the financial services industry. In his limited spare time, Jonathan enjoys watching the New York Giants win Super Bowls.
He holds an A.B. in Social Studies magna cum laude from Harvard University.