IVCA Feature: The Best Quotes and Perspectives of 2020

December 23, 2020

Happiest of Holidays and a highly anticipated New Year of 2021 to the membership of the IVCA. We lived through unprecedented times this year, but the VC/PE-backed entrepreneurs continued to innovate and in many ways contributed to mitigating the pandemic. The IVCA continued in their mission to represent the VC/PE community and their support organizations, and updated the membership throughout the year on the website and through the biweekly newsletter and profiles.
In one more look at 2020, here are the best quotes and perspectives from those various articles, beginning with the series of interviews profiling the new IVCA Board of Directors …
“Most of my and our firm’s activity around correcting Private Equity misperceptions has been at a very micro level … specifically in our dialogue with individual business owners. I think raising this discussion to a more macro level would likely require some type of Public Relations initiative, supported by aggregated data, across Illinois-based PE/VC backed companies and/or involving Illinois-based PE/VC firms. ”
~ Chip Grace, May River Capital
On VC/PE Through the Pandemic: “If history is any judge it will fair quite well. In the last two recessionary time periods, fund level and deal level returns have peaked in the years immediately following those recessions. Most institutional investors are quite aware of this and from those we have spoken to there is no plan to sit on sideline.”
~ Alex Abell, RCP Advisors
Again, The Pandemic: “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 … The real question is what type of long-term impact will the debt levels have, even as we come out of the immediate crisis.”
~ Dana Wright, MATH Venture Partners
“I have enjoyed attending the IVCA annual awards gala, sponsoring/hosting IVCA Scholars, as well as attending various IVCA webinars and events. The IVCA performs a critical role in shaping the opinions of government officials and the general public regarding our industry, and I wanted to contribute to that cause. In addition, I am strongly aligned with IVCA’s efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the VC/PE industries.”
~ Ian Drury, OCA Ventures
“‘Most of the start-ups we invest in have less than ten employees when we get involved. In some cases, our companies have grown to 500-1000 employees in Illinois, creating a significant number of jobs. IVCA can continue to highlight stories of their member portfolio companies that have grown rapidly and hired aggressively in markets that the IVCA serves.”
~ Ira Weiss, Hyde Park Venture Partners
The Pandemic: “We have already seen incredible examples of highly talented entrepreneurs meeting the challenges head on that we’re all faced with today, and in some cases turning these headwinds into tailwinds through their creativity and determination. In periods of turmoil and disruption, great leaders emerge for what they are … and with them the companies that they are building. As in past downturns, we will see great businesses born out of these challenging times, and we will see the players in our industry supporting them along the way. ”
~ Alex Meyer, Origin Ventures
“Our current environment is evolving at an unprecedented rapid pace, which makes collaboration among investors more valuable than ever. During my involvement on the board of IVCA, I’d like to see more efforts to create smaller cross-functional groups that can share ideas and look for best practices. Ultimately, these relationships can make the difference between a good investment and a great one.”
~ John Yeager, WhiteHorse Capital, Direct Lending Affiliate of H.I.G. Capital
“Innovation, new inventions and new business models continue to be developed during all types of economic cycles. I would expect investment to continue during this challenging pandemic/economic period, whether it’s new drugs, software or diagnostics. During more difficult periods Venture Capital and Private Equity firms can sometimes access talent and secure assets at lower prices, which can lead to better run companies and more attractive growth businesses.”
~ Mark McDonnell, ARCH Venture Partners
And here are some more notable 2020 quotes …
“I actually think that the world hasn’t changed that much if you’re an entrepreneur. In this environment, with unprecedented crisis after crisis being layered on top of each other, it is exactly the right time for the entrepreneurial spirit. This is the moment, because in the last 30 years there has been 40 million net new jobs created in the U.S. that are 100% due to start ups. Start ups and small businesses are the key to the economic recovery, in terms of job creation. And people who have an entrepreneurial mindset, and are willing to do the work, there is no better time.”
~ Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871
“Also now is the time, more than any, for Chicago to rise up. We need to show the world what we are capable of, in coming together as a community  … I would only ask the Chicago community to keep that in mind as you engage with and support the founders of Techstars Chicago, 1871, and any of the other entrepreneurial ecosystem we have in Chicago.”
~ Neal Sáles-Griffin, Managing Director of Techstars Chicago
“My goal in working with the IVCA is quite simple: I hope to leave the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois better places to do business than when I first entered the Venture Capital arena and joined the Association. I want the Association to help ensure that we have the tools and people to create a vibrant economy, attract and retain the best talent, and create quality and desired jobs for our citizens. Through the work of the Association, we have built a strong foundation to create opportunities for our residents; whether they are recent college grads from our top-tier universities, experienced workers or people in the twilight of their careers.”
~ Tony Palcheck of Zebra Ventures, Recipient of the 2020 IVCA Fellows Award
The Pandemic: “I hope it will encourage two behaviors: first, understanding how fast change can happen when it has to happen and when it’s important, which can also be called leadership; and second, understanding that we are all one community in health and we need to take care of each other and provide minimum levels of care to every person in America. That will keep us all safer and is also the right thing to do.”
~ Glen Tullman of 7WireVentures, Recipient of the 2020 IVCA Stanley C. Golder Award