Philly's “Richest Man in Town” Shuns Spotlight

“The Richest Man in Town” wants to get out of the spotlight.

Josh Kopelman was featured as Philadelphia’s “Richest Man in Town” in a new book written by author W. Randall Jones. Jones traveled to 100 U.S. cities and towns to compile a collection of business wisdom, published last month by Hatchett Book Group.

The book claims that the young entrepreneur/venture capitalist is the wealthiest self-made person in Philadelphia. In the book Jones describes Kopelman as a technology guru who "sold to eBay in 2000 for $355 million.” He was 29 at the time.

Kopelman is apparently not at all happy about the title.

"He was very upset with me," Jones told

One of the reasons Kopelman might be unhappy about the title is because there are other entrepreneurs in Philly who have more rights to that claim.

For example Richard Hayne, founder of Urban Outfitters, who is worth more than $700 million and was worth billions before stock-prices took a dive. He was even featured in Forbes’ billionaire list several times.

You could even consider new to the billionaire club, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. He is not entirely self-made though because of help from family fortune.

So what has Kopelman done to warrant so much attention? In 1992, during his sophomore year at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania., Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation, an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Kopelman left Infonautics in 1999 to found He is currently Managing Director of First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture fund. He is an investor, director and advisor to a variety of businesses, most in the software and Internet domain.

Even though Kopelman is not happy about being named in “The Richest Man in Town” he still shares insight of becoming wealthy in several chapters of the book.

In the chapter on "Commandment 4: Get Addicted to Ambition," Kopelman states: "I'm hoping to step up to the plate dozens of times in my lifetime, and I'm hoping that my lifetime batting average is high, that's what it's all about. There is always a next rung on the ladder of success."

Other words of wisdom shared in the book include "We see two thousand business plans a year, and I tell entrepreneurs that a business plan is obsolete the minute you press PRINT" also "Intelligence without an emotional connection is unintelligible."

After interviewing some of the wealthiest people in the country, from Bill Gates to the lesser-known Fred DeLuca, who founded Subway, Jones learned quite a bit about what it takes to become wealthy.

“Wealth is the byproduct of worthy activity. It’s what happens when you perform a useful service or make a decent product, then market it aggressively and treat customers decently. It’s about right livelihood, not pursuit of money. Sharks may score big for a while, but over the long haul it’s the good people who win biggest, Jones told

To find out more about the book go to W. Randall Jones’ website.

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