Pete Snyder, who a dozen years ago founded New Media Strategies in Rosslyn, announced today that he is stepping down to form a new venture capital company, Disruptor Capital, to invest in technology, media, and public affairs groups in the Washington region. He says they are an underserved market. “There are a million and one media and public affairs opportunities, a whole market place of terrific companies oriented in and around Washington,” he says. “There’s no angel targeting that particular industry. I want to be that angel.” He says he’ll target startups and growing companies.
Snyder sold the company to Meredith Corp. five years ago, staying with NMS for two years past his three-year earn-out. So why is he leaving now? “It’s just time,” Snyder says. “I’m leaving the company I founded 12 years ago as the first social media marketing company in the world, but at heart I’m an entrepreneur, and I need to scratch that part of me.” He’ll remain affiliated with NMS as a senior adviser.
Snyder, 39, says he’s also been asked by the Republican National Committee chairman and Virginia governor Bob McDonnell to “head victory efforts for Virginia in 2012. Which means I’m the head of efforts for president, the Senate race, and 13 congressional races.”
The new Disruptor office will be based in Alexandria. Snyder is building the company from the ground up. The first day of business is January 1, and “yes, I’ll be hiring,” Snyder says. When asked if this indicates he feels strongly about the economic future, he says, “I absolutely do. In the region, not the nation. I feel very strong about the environment for entrepreneurs in this region.”
Update: As for rumors that he’s considering a run for Virginia lieutenant governor, Snyder says, “Yes, I’m considering it.”