IVCA Feature: The Best Quotes and Perspectives of 2019

IVCA Feature: The Best Quotes and Perspectives of 2019

December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays and a Grand New Year to the membership of the IVCA. In this upcoming new year and decade, the association will continue to feature the best news and outlook from the Venture Capital and Private Equity communities, and its innovators. This includes the Toolkit and Educational Luncheons that the IVCA and their industry partners sponsor throughout the year, plus the profiles and articles that spotlight the VC/PE-related personalities and issues in the bi-weekly IVCA newsletter. In one more look at 2019, here are the best quotes and perspectives from those various events and resources...
 
 
“City Scholars is an exciting opportunity to better prepare our students to lead, and also to guarantee that Chicago benefits from increased interactions with Illinois Engineering students, faculty and alumni. When students work alongside our company partners, they learn what Chicago has to offer through its diverse economy, thriving civic community and opportunities for lifelong learning. They see what makes Chicago an exciting destination for them after graduation, and reinvest their talent in our state.”
 
~ Betsy Weiler Conway, Director of the City Scholars Program
 
 
“For West Coast funders, the push back was always ‘well, you should be doing UBER Freight.’ So after private investing, HubTran went with Jump Capital in Chicago. The advantages of here was access to brokerage companies. Having the transportation network and concentration in one area to start out was essential. Chicago is the ‘Silicon Valley of Trucking.’”
 
~ Matt Bernstein, CEO/Founder of Hubtran, at the IVCA Luncheon Event ‘Distruptions in Logistics and Supply Chain and Their Impact on Mature Companies’
 
 
“Paragon Biosciences believes that investment from Venture Capital and others is essential to support the success of entrepreneurs. Illinois is blessed with a culture of entrepreneurship and we are honored to find ways to support that innovation … the IVCA shares our common values.”
 
~ Michael Organ, VP of Communications at Paragon Biosciences, IVCA New Member Profile
 
 
“P33 [a new Chicago tech and industry cluster initiative] quickly came together through a gathering and resourcing of around 200 people in various categories of tech commerce, businesses, the markets and academia. The basic question became ‘how do we establish leadership here, and how do we sustain economic growth in technology?’ If we don’t get the diagnosis correct, the solution would also not be correct.”
 
~ Penny Pritzker, Co-founder (with Chris Gladwin) of P33, at the IVCA Spring Luncheon
 
 
“Fundamentally, we believe that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected.’  Although talent and intelligence are equally distributed across humanity, opportunity is not. We also know that change requires commitment, creativity, and often an entrepreneurial drive. We encourage everyone at Kinzie to give back, not only with Kinzie’s financial support, but with their time. Our philanthropy allows us to support organizations that are committed to creating lasting changes in our communities.

Fostering a culture of giving back to help others achieve their goals is an aspect of our corporate culture of which we are very proud … as it permeates day to day with how we treat each other.”
 
~ Katie Li, Manager of Finance & Operations at Kinzie Capital Partners, IVCA New Member Profile
 
 
“‘The buzz term of the moment from Human Resources Tech vendors is A.I. [Artificial Intelligence], which is flashed as a enticer on marketing booths at every conference. How much of this is product truth, how much is marketing hype or how much is just an executive level order to actualize the term?
It basically is all software, no matter what we’re calling it. Recruiting technology, is in the first inning of transitioning between administrative platform to a digital retailing solution. Jobs are products, they have to retailed online just like anything else, because the change is that 80% of job searches are done online.”
 
~ Adam Robinson, Co-Founder & CEO of Hireology, at the IVCA Luncheon ‘Investing in HR Tech Today’
 
 
“We have a few credos that guide our hiring and our culture. First, ‘diversity drives alpha.’ We think one of our strengths is the diversity in gender and ethnicity of our team. Next, ‘speeding tickets, not parking tickets.’ Speed and agility are competitive advantages of the firm.

Also, as Louis Pasteur once said, ‘Fortune favors the prepared mind.’ We do a lot of research to develop out investment themes so that when we find the right deal we can move decisively. Lastly, turning to Franz Kafka, ‘The meaning of life is that it stops.’ Let’s make the short time we have on this earth worthwhile and do our part to leave it in better shape than when we found it.”
 
~ Amy Francetic, Managing Director of Energize Ventures, IVCA New Member Profile
 
 
“The use of extenders in providing healthcare is a delicate subject, and has to be tread carefully. However, a lack of primary physicians causes many clinic investors to look towards alternatives like Urgent Care. The evolution of society is steering toward certain services being handled by downstream med practitioners rather than doctors, and this is categorized as extenders.
 
Operations, due to technology, has evolved substantially in the last five years. Non medical managers are being trained to ‘speak the lingo’ as providers are morphing into more situations where non-medical managers are affecting their organizational operations.”
 
~ Ryan Moseley, Vice President at Cressley & Co., at the IVCA Luncheon ‘An Update on Healthcare Technology Investing’
 
 
“Around 2014 through 2015, in Series C funding for a successful company, the devaluations were beginning to outpace the revenue traction. Add factors like low interest capital, companies staying private longer and new players like SoftBank, these factors have made the growth stage financing come earlier and earlier. Well-performing investments in Series A, even over just one quarter, has caused valuations to rise substantially.
 
Putting it all together, the primary motivation for later stage funds moving earlier is how the market is now, that waiting for potential funding often gets to be too late because of high valuations and inside investors not allowing outside interest. Firms almost have to play earlier.”
 
~ Jamison Hill, Senior Principal of Bain Capital Ventures, at IVCA luncheon ‘Growth Stage Financings are Creeping Earlier and Earlier: What are the Implications for PE and VC Firms?’
 
 
“After the core TechStars value of quality over quantity, the second is participation of mentors. I am so blessed to be part of a robust and give-first community in Chicago. And in that sense I want to respect our mentor’s time, and the time of our participants. I personally will spend my time with the 2020 class so I can deeply understand what their needs are, what the knowledge gaps are, and what perspectives will be most valuable to them.
 
I’m grateful to the IVCA for this platform and opportunity, and to be part of what the members of this organization have being doing for a long time. It’s about my mentors like [former Managing Director] Troy Henikoff and Jim Dugan from OCA Ventures, and everyone else I’ve met in the investment community.”
 
~ Neal Sales-Griffin, New Managing Director of the accelerator program TechStars Chicago
 
 
“I think it’s almost impossible to isolate the research effect on any particular investment – it’s too much woven into the fabric of what we do every day. It’s more discernible over time. For example, our extensive research over many years in the environmental sector has enabled us to invest profitably in that sector, something many others have attempted with little success. Ultimately, the most visible effect of research is simply in the cumulative result across all our investments and all our funds … a three-decade-plus history of consistent success.’”
 
~ Oliver Nicklin, Recipient of the 2018 IVCA Richard J. Daley Award
 
 
“It is clear to me that the grizzled veterans of the industry, of which Stanley was one, pioneered the practices and advocated the regulatory structures that contributed to the tremendous industry success across the country.
 
When I was starting out as an underling in the profession I took all that foundational structure as an article of faith. I have since learned how constant vigilance and education is required to ensure that the industry can continue to fuel innovation and economic growth. The IVCA plays a critical role actively educating and advocating for the VC and PE industries in Illinois, in essence continuing the work of Stanley Golder and others.”
 
~ Keith L. Crandell, Recipient of the 2019 IVCA Stanley C. Golder Award