INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INNOVATOR AWARD
Josh Kopelman is founder and President of Half.com. Josh is a serial entrepreneur and investor who has been an active leader in the Internet industry since its commercialization. He currently serves as Managing Director of First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture fund.
In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Josh left Infonautics to found Half.com in July of 1999, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. Half.com was acquired by eBay in July 2000 — and Josh remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit and growing eBay’s Media marketplace to almost half a billion dollars in annual gross merchandise sales.
In early 2004 Josh helped to found TurnTide, an anti-spam company that created the world’s first anti-spam router. TurnTide was acquired by Symantec just six months later.
Prior to forming First Round Capital, Josh served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Comcast Interactive Capital – a $350 million venture capital fund affiliated with Comcast Corporation. Josh is an inventor on five U.S. Patents for his work in Internet technology. In June 2000, he was awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the Greater Philadelphia region. Josh has also been recognized as one of the “10 Most Influential People in Philadelphia Technology” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the “76 Smartest Philadelphians” by Philadelphia Magazine and as one of forty individuals under the age of forty who have made the biggest impact on the Philadelphia region by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Josh is often quoted in industry trade journals and national newspapers, has appeared on numerous national television shows, and is a frequent speaker at industry-wide conferences on entrepreneurship, Internet marketing and the future of Internet services.
In 2001 Josh and his wife created the Kopelman Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on angel philanthropy to provide “start-up” grants to social entrepreneurs. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Innovation Philadelphia, a public/private partnership focused on enhancing the global innovation economy of Philadelphia through technological leadership. He also serves on the advisory boards of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Community Partnerships and the Weiss Tech House at the University of Pennsylvania.
Josh earned a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.