Venture Investing in Digital Media and Big Data

Steve Kent

Venture Partner

Stephen J. Kent is seasoned business executive with a broad base of experience as a CEO and as an independent Director serving privately held, middle market companies. Most recently, Mr. Kent served as President and CEO of New Track Media, a company he founded in 2006 with BV Investments, a Boston-based private equity firm. Earlier he served as President and CEO of F+W Publications, which he successfully ran for two successive private equity firms, CVC and Providence Equity. He continues to serve as an independent member of the Board of Directors for several privately held companies across multiple industries.

Through acquisition and internal development, Mr. Kent and his team built New Track into one of the country’s premier enthusiast media companies during one of the most challenging economic periods for the industry. New Track is a diversified content and commerce business with a portfolio of consumer enthusiast magazines, video programming, Web-based content, catalogs and e-commerce storefronts serving a range of hobby and enthusiast verticals such as astronomy, woodworking, and various soft crafts. The company had a consistent record of growth and profitability during its start-up and expansion, leading to a successful exit through sale in January of 2014.

Prior to founding New Track, Mr. Kent served as President and CEO of F+W Publications, a publisher and affinity marketer of special interest magazines, books, book clubs, conferences and consumer events. Mr. Kent had been recruited to the company in 1999 as CEO and a co-investor by CVC (Citigroup Venture Capital) simultaneous with its purchase of F+W from the founding family. After doubling the size of the business in just more than two years, the company was sold to Providence Equity. Mr. Kent continued on as CEO, accelerated the expansion, and sold the company in 2005, having completed several strategic acquisitions and having achieved an international footprint.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Kent was in brand management with Procter & Gamble and then spent approximately 15 years building a range of venture-backed businesses based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Kent was raised in Connecticut. He received his B.A. from Vassar College and his M.B.A. from Harvard, where he was awarded the Sybron Fellowship.

Mr. Kent is active in various not for profit activities, serving as a member and co-Chair of the President’s Advisory Council at Vassar College and a member of the board of New York Stage & Film. Earlier he served as a Trustee and Chair of the Board of The Seven Hills School in Cincinnati. He and his family live in Cincinnati, New York City and Little Compton (RI). They have one child, who completed service as a Teach for America corps member after college and now lives in New York City, where she is employed by a foundation and attends graduate school.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, Vassar College
  • Masters of Business Administration, Harvard University