Profile: New IVCA Board of Director Member, Dana Wright of MATH Venture Partners

Profile: New IVCA Board of Director Member, Dana Wright of MATH Venture Partners

July 8, 2020

Last last year the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) announced their latest Board of Directors, who will serve from January 1st, 2020, to June 30th, 2021. There are many new faces and perspectives on the Board, so the IVCA is continuing a series of profiles for those recently minted BOD members. The next profile is below …
 
New IVCA Board of Director Officer: Dana Wright, Managing Director
Representative Firm: MATH Venture Partners
 
IVCA: Tell us a little about your firm and your tenure there.
 
Dana Wright: MATH Venture Partners is an early-stage venture fund founded on the idea that customer acquisition predicts success. I first joined MATH as an investor in 2015 and became a partner one year later.

IVCA: What made you decide to Join IVCA’s board?
 
Wright: I have a passion for public policy, and believe informed and involved leaders are required to help build an inclusive, growing Midwest ecosystem.
 
IVCA: The IVCA’s mission is to support and promote private company investing in the Midwest. Can you talk about your involvement in correcting some of the misperceptions of the PE business model and how it promotes economic growth? Any ideas for how IVCA can do this more effectively?
 
Wright: I am curious to learn more about the misperceptions that the IVCA are referring to and what they believe should be corrected, as well as what actions have occurred to date. I may need to learn more before having an effective answer to this question.
 
IVCA: The coming months will be difficult as we figure out how to move through the pandemic and expected recession, any thoughts on how VC/PE will fare?
 
Wright: This obviously depends on the breadth and depth of the recession, as well as whether we have a second wave before we have a proven therapeutic or fully tested vaccine. There is also the continuing racial, social and political tensions, and the impact the federal government can have to ease the burdens. 
 
I believe some firms and industries are going to struggle. However, the firms that focused on strong fundamentals and needs-based businesses outside of the industries with the longest negative tail – such as travel and restaurants – may fare relatively well.  The real question is what type of long-term impact will the debt levels have, even as we come out of the immediate crisis.
 
IVCA: The IVCA works to share ‘best in class’ operational practices across firms, any thoughts on how that might help firms weather our current storms?
 
Wright: The obvious answer is to have a proper reserve strategy and be proactively communicating with the LPs regarding expectations, capital calls and more.
 
IVCA: What are you hoping to offer and gain from IVCA Board Participation?
 
Wright: I hope to offer an opportunity to share a new model for firm partnership and succession.  I hope to gain a better understanding of public policy at the local/state level impacting our industry.
 
For the MATH Venture Partners bio of Dana Wright, click here.