At the recent Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, the Badger Fund of Funds announced its new fund managers during the morning plenary panel, “The Badger Fund of Funds Breaks Out.” The audience also had the opportunity to learn how the Badger Fund of Funds operates and heard firsthand from the fund managers.
The fund managers are:
Dan Brooks, a senior associate at Sun Mountain Capital, the New Mexico-based investment firm that co-manages the Badger Fund of Funds with Kegonsa Capital Partners.
Sun Mountain Capital is a diversified private equity firm with investment strategies in both direct investment and “fund of funds” programs spanning venture capital, mezzanine debt and growth equity.
Ross Leinweber, a founder of Bold Coast Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Milwaukee. He has extensive investment breadth and experience, having served as managing partner of Lake Shore Trading, a proprietary macroeconomic derivatives firm. He currently manages a multi-use real estate portfolio, and has been an active angel investor and startup advisor for the last 15 years in Chicago and Wisconsin.
Bold Coast Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that provides support to high-growth Wisconsin companies and partners with the brightest innovative minds. They are committed to building strong and enduring relationships with people striving to transform industries and willing to question the status quo with unique ideas.
Richelle Martin, managing director of the newly formed Winnow Fund, which focuses on making pre-seed stage investments in companies founded around innovative ideas from students at Wisconsin universities.
The Winnow Fund, a new Madison-based venture capital fund, intends to make a small initial investment in establishing new startups, and may later make seed investments of up to $500,000.
Andy Walker, who has made a career as an operator and investor in data-driven technologies. Most recently, Walker was CEO of Channel IQ, acquired by Market Track, which performed e-commerce channel management analysis for manufacturers and retailers. Walker is now a partner at Rock River Capital Partners, which invests in disruptive technologies in the Midwest.
Rock River Capital strives to find great entrepreneurs that believe in the Midwest and want to partner in building billion-dollar companies. The current fund managers are focused on investing in Wisconsin-based companies where they can provide capital and mentorship.
Jonathon Horne is managing director of the Idea Fund of La Crosse, a seed-state venture capital fund headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Prior to moving home to La Crosse to manage the Idea Fund, Horne worked in investment banking for J.P. Morgan in New York.
The Idea Fund invests in pre-revenue startups headquartered in Wisconsin. The fund seeks to partner with highly driven entrepreneurs who are solving urgent problems for society problems.
David Trotter, managing director of Winnebago Capital Partners, the general partner of the Winnebago Seed Fund, a newly formed venture capital fund based in Neenah. The fund emphasizes seed investments in startup companies in the Fox Valley region and throughout Wisconsin.
In 2013, the state awarded $25 million to establish the Badger Fund of Funds, which raised an additional $10 million from the private sector and agreed to create six to eight venture capital firms across the state. Running the program is Santa Fe-based Sun Mountain Capital, which specializes in regional investment programs, and Kegonsa Capital Partners, with a goal to have all the regional funds established by the end of 2018.
The Badger Fund of Funds adds depth that is needed to Wisconsin’s early-stage investment portfolio, with the five funds looking to put a 2-to-1 mix of private and public dollars to work with young companies across Wisconsin.