Podcast: A Boots-on-the-Ground Market View from J2 Ventures' Alex Harstrick

The Alternative Edge

This episode of The Alternative Edge, a Weaver: Beyond the Numbers podcast offers a glimpse into the world of venture capital through the eyes of Alexander Harstrick, founder and managing partner of J2 Ventures. Harstrick shares invaluable perspective on the interplay between government and venture capital, weighs in on current market conditions and offers his blueprint to success for emerging managers.

Key Points

  • J2 Ventures co-founder Harstrick's journey was shaped by his diverse roles in health tech investment, his military service, and the venture capital industry
  • J2 Ventures invests in companies that intend to scale with the U.S. government, hoping to capitalize on government funding and technical expertise, while providing necessary business acumen
  • Harstrick emphasizes that public market conditions do not necessarily dictate private market valuations, due to different exit strategies and hold periods


From his time as a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Army, with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, to his experiences at Columbia and Harvard, Harstrick's background laid the groundwork for his move into venture capital. The genesis of J2 Ventures began with the fateful meeting of Harstrick and his co-founder, John Bronson, during their stint as EMTs at Columbia. Their journey together is a testament to their symbiotic influence on each other.

Explaining the J2 Ventures investment thesis, Harstrick highlights four focus industries of greatest current interest: health care, next-gen computing, cybersecurity, and infrastructure technology. These areas, he believes, show the highest growth potential in both the defense and commercial sectors.

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