Chris Hughes, the Facebook co-founder who left the social networking company two years ago to head up Barack Obama’s enormously successful Web outreach campaign, is coming back to the startup world as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst Partners. He will divide his time between Boston and New York. His role at the VC firm will be to work closely with young entrepreneurs and guide them through the steps of building a business.
While some investors are fleeing the Boston (cough, Paul Graham), Hughes thinks there is a lot of pent-up entrepreneurial energy on the East Coast. He tells me:
I’m going to General Catalyst to help facilitate the emergence of new entrepreneurs, particularly with a focus on the East Coast. I moved to New York in January and have been getting a sense of the lay of the land for a couple months. It’s pretty clear to me that there are a ton of smart people out there who have really good ideas — it’s just a question of really fostering an entrepreneurial culture with all the resources that people need.
I’m definitely hoping to mentor new entrepreneurs and at the same time also learn a lot more about the venture capital space as an EIR.
A young man himself at 25 Hughes is banking on his experience at both Facebook and in the Obama campaign. A recent profile in Fast Company describes how his creation, MyBarackObama, contributed to the campaign:
By the time the campaign was over, volunteers had created more than 2 million profiles on the site, planned 200,000 offline events, formed 35,000 groups, posted 400,000 blogs, and raised $30 million on 70,000 personal fund-raising pages.
Hughes joins another ex-Facebook executive into the world of venture investing. Last summer, former VP of Product Management Matt Cohler became a partner at Benchmark.