The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund was formed with the philosophy that venture capital is important for economic growth and that Michigan and many other major regions are underserved in the amount of venture capital available to fund exciting new ideas and technologies.

Success is often built by a combination of innovation, capital and strong working relationships. Our belief is that by providing much needed capital to top tier venture capital firms, and building bridges between those firms, young innovation companies and Michigan's established business community, we can achieve regional success in the form of strong investment returns and economic growth.

Bridging Innovation
and Investment.

Learn More About Us

About

Profitably investing in Michigan’s growth.

The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is a Michigan-based fund that supports the growth of venture capital in Michigan while serving as a bridge between Michigan’s emerging innovation community and its strong industrial and commercial base.

Formed out of the groundbreaking “Road to Renaissance” initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is the largest privately funded organization of its kind in the US. Renaissance was created by some of Michigan’s most important organizations to profitably invest in the state’s innovation and to serve as a connector of innovative start up companies with strong, established businesses.

The investors in Renaissance recognized the importance of venture capital in the economic growth of the State as well as the financial rewards available to investors who mine the treasure of research and innovation present at Michigan’s world-class universities, institutions and corporations.

Through its investment in top tier venture firms that are active in Michigan, as well as its own co-investments in emerging Michigan companies, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is helping to drive forward both innovation and growth of emerging companies in the region. And it is again proving that Michigan, with its unique combination of scientific, engineering and business talent, is a great place in which to invest.

Team

group-staff

Christopher L. Rizik

Christopher L. Rizik

CEO & Fund Manager

Christopher L. Rizik is the Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. With three decades of experience in technology, finance and law, he has played a principal role in dozens of multi-million dollar venture capital transactions.

Prior to forming Renaissance, Chris served as a co-founder, partner, and Board member of Ardesta, LLC, an industry accelerator dedicated to the development of microsystems and other small technologies. Chris also co-founded and served as Managing Director of Avalon Investments, then Michigan’s largest venture capital firm. During his tenure at Avalon and Ardesta, he accepted four consecutive “Deal of the Year” awards from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

Prior to joining Avalon, Chris was a senior partner with Dickinson Wright PLLC, one of the Midwest’s oldest law firms, where he led the firm’s Emerging Company department. He also passed the Certified Public Accounting examination and worked at PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Chris is also the founder of SoulTracks.com, America’s most popular soul music online magazine.

Chris is a member of the Executive Committee and serves as the Finance Chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the State of Michigan’s economic development organization. He also serves as chair of the Executive Committee of Detroit’s TechTown accelerator, is the immediate past chair of NextEnergy (Michigan’s advanced energy economic development organization), and chairs the investment committee of Detroit’s innovative community investment organization, the First Step Fund. Chris serves on the National Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer and on the Board or the Advisory Board of several other community organizations, including the Detroit Medical Center, the New Economy Initiative and U of D Jesuit High School and Academy, as well as the advisory board of several venture capital funds. Chris was previously named by Crain’s Detroit Business magazine as one of its “Newsmakers of the Year” for his leadership role in the advancement of venture capital and entrepreneurship in Michigan, and is frequent lecturer and speaker.

Jeffrey Rinvelt

Jeffrey Rinvelt

Principal

Jeffrey Rinvelt is the Principal for the Fund. Jeff’s diverse background in venture capital and technology along with his experience working in various start-up ventures uniquely positions him for this role. In addition, Jeff is quite active in the Michigan start-up community, volunteering his time to mentor young entrepreneurs, judge pitch competitions, and guest lecture student classes and organizations. Through Jeff’s work on the Fund, his volunteer efforts and his role on the Michigan Venture Capital Association’s board of directors, his passion for fostering a productive environment for venture capital investment in the State of Michigan is clearly evident.

Jeff was previously part of Ardesta, where he was Director engaged in sourcing, evaluating, and conducting due diligence on investment opportunities, as well as monitoring and providing assistance to the companies in Ardesta’s portfolio. Prior to joining Ardesta, Jeff was a co-founder of GrapeVINE Technologies, providing Product Management and Marketing for their knowledge management product, eventually resulting in an acquisition by Sun Microsystems. Jeff was also part of the start-up team for MAXfunds.com, an Internet company providing complete coverage of the mutual fund industry, including hundreds of funds not available on any other site. In addition, Jeff spent five years with Ernst & Young’s Information Technology group as a senior consultant.

Jeff lends his expertise to a number of local non-profits through his board work for Non-Profit Enterprises at Work (NEW), the Ann Arbor YMCA, and as Treasurer for 826Michigan.

Kristopher Wiljanen

Kristopher Wiljanen

Director of Business Development

Kristopher Wiljanen is the Director of Business Development for the Fund. In this role, Kris is working with our portfolio venture capital funds and their companies to identify and develop opportunities with the Fund’s investor base and Michigan’s major corporations with the goal of increasing interaction between the two communities in a way that strengthens both.

Prior to joining Renaissance Venture Capital Kris was a management consultant with Charles River Associates (CRA), based in Boston. At CRA his work focused on strategy and technology commercialization issues facing renewable energy and related grid-level storage technologies. Kris has worked with many start-ups to help them bring their product to market or to help get existing products into new markets. Prior to his consulting career Kristopher worked for Siemens Venture Capital and IndX Software (one of its portfolio companies) where he had business development and project management roles. Kris began his career in the semiconductor industry with Motorola where he held a variety of positions in Engineering, Product Development, Finance and Marketing as part of the company’s management rotation program

Sue Osinski

Sue Osinski

Office Manager

Sue Osinski is Renaissance’s office manager and the first point of contact for most companies and funds that communicate with Renaissance. Sue came to us with over 10 years of bookkeeping and office management experience in both the venture capital and start-up company world.

Christopher L. Rizik

Christopher L. Rizik

CEO & Fund Manager

Christopher L. Rizik is the Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. With three decades of experience in technology, finance and law, he has played a principal role in dozens of multi-million dollar venture capital transactions.

Prior to forming Renaissance, Chris served as a co-founder, partner, and Board member of Ardesta, LLC, an industry accelerator dedicated to the development of microsystems and other small technologies. Chris also co-founded and served as Managing Director of Avalon Investments, then Michigan’s largest venture capital firm. During his tenure at Avalon and Ardesta, he accepted four consecutive “Deal of the Year” awards from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

Prior to joining Avalon, Chris was a senior partner with Dickinson Wright PLLC, one of the Midwest’s oldest law firms, where he led the firm’s Emerging Company department. He also passed the Certified Public Accounting examination and worked at PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Chris is also the founder of SoulTracks.com, America’s most popular soul music online magazine.

Chris is a member of the Executive Committee and serves as the Finance Chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the State of Michigan’s economic development organization. He also serves as chair of the Executive Committee of Detroit’s TechTown accelerator, is the immediate past chair of NextEnergy (Michigan’s advanced energy economic development organization), and chairs the investment committee of Detroit’s innovative community investment organization, the First Step Fund. Chris serves on the National Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer and on the Board or the Advisory Board of several other community organizations, including the Detroit Medical Center, the New Economy Initiative and U of D Jesuit High School and Academy, as well as the advisory board of several venture capital funds. Chris was previously named by Crain’s Detroit Business magazine as one of its “Newsmakers of the Year” for his leadership role in the advancement of venture capital and entrepreneurship in Michigan, and is frequent lecturer and speaker.

Jeffrey Rinvelt

Jeffrey Rinvelt

Principal

Jeffrey Rinvelt is the Principal for the Fund. Jeff’s diverse background in venture capital and technology along with his experience working in various start-up ventures uniquely positions him for this role. In addition, Jeff is quite active in the Michigan start-up community, volunteering his time to mentor young entrepreneurs, judge pitch competitions, and guest lecture student classes and organizations. Through Jeff’s work on the Fund, his volunteer efforts and his role on the Michigan Venture Capital Association’s board of directors, his passion for fostering a productive environment for venture capital investment in the State of Michigan is clearly evident.

Jeff was previously part of Ardesta, where he was Director engaged in sourcing, evaluating, and conducting due diligence on investment opportunities, as well as monitoring and providing assistance to the companies in Ardesta’s portfolio. Prior to joining Ardesta, Jeff was a co-founder of GrapeVINE Technologies, providing Product Management and Marketing for their knowledge management product, eventually resulting in an acquisition by Sun Microsystems. Jeff was also part of the start-up team for MAXfunds.com, an Internet company providing complete coverage of the mutual fund industry, including hundreds of funds not available on any other site. In addition, Jeff spent five years with Ernst & Young’s Information Technology group as a senior consultant.

Jeff lends his expertise to a number of local non-profits through his board work for Non-Profit Enterprises at Work (NEW), the Ann Arbor YMCA, and as Treasurer for 826Michigan.

Kristopher Wiljanen

Kristopher Wiljanen

Director of Business Development

Kristopher Wiljanen is the Director of Business Development for the Fund. In this role, Kris is working with our portfolio venture capital funds and their companies to identify and develop opportunities with the Fund’s investor base and Michigan’s major corporations with the goal of increasing interaction between the two communities in a way that strengthens both.

Prior to joining Renaissance Venture Capital Kris was a management consultant with Charles River Associates (CRA), based in Boston. At CRA his work focused on strategy and technology commercialization issues facing renewable energy and related grid-level storage technologies. Kris has worked with many start-ups to help them bring their product to market or to help get existing products into new markets. Prior to his consulting career Kristopher worked for Siemens Venture Capital and IndX Software (one of its portfolio companies) where he had business development and project management roles. Kris began his career in the semiconductor industry with Motorola where he held a variety of positions in Engineering, Product Development, Finance and Marketing as part of the company’s management rotation program

Sue Osinski

Sue Osinski

Office Manager

Sue Osinski is Renaissance’s office manager and the first point of contact for most companies and funds that communicate with Renaissance. Sue came to us with over 10 years of bookkeeping and office management experience in both the venture capital and start-up company world.

Board

Sam Valenti III (Chairman) is Chairman of Valenti Capital, an investment firm located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Valenti Capital manages several hundred million dollars in hedge funds, venture capital funds, and other private equity investments. Mr. Valenti is also the Executive Chairman of TriMas Corporation. TriMas is a NYSE listed diversified manufacturing company. Formerly a senior executive, corporate officer and 30 year veteran of Masco Corporation, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of home building and home improvement products with sales approaching $8 billion, Mr. Valenti was the youngest person to be named vice president in the 70-year history of Masco. For over 25 years, he was the leader of a team of investment professionals involved in a wide array of investment activities including stock and bond investment, commodity hedging, merger and acquisition analysis, and venture capital investing. He continues to serve as president of Masco Capital Corporation, the investment subsidiary of Masco Corporation, with assets of several hundred million dollars.

Mr. Valenti is the recent chairman and a 15-year veteran of the Investment Advisory Committee of the $50 billion State of Michigan Retirement System. He serves on the Harvard Business School Advisory Council for Global Corporate Governance, the Advisory Council at the University of Notre Dame, and the Advisory Boards of Questor, Long Point, Doll Capital, Camelot and Enterprise Development Fund. In addition, he is a former member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of The Endowment Committee for the Center for Creative Studies and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Cranbrook Educational Community. He was a member of the board of directors of Children’s Hospital, Arbor Drug, and the endowment committee of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Mr. Valenti received his Bachelor of Arts, with honors, and his Master Arts, also with honors, from Western Michigan University.

Richard M. Gabrys – The former Interim Dean of the School of Business Administration of Wayne State University and retired Vice Chairman of Deloitte & Touche LLP, Mr. Gabrys has more than four decades of experience in public accounting, including extensive service to a variety of publicly held companies in the automotive manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare industries. Most recently, he served as a vice chairman in Deloitte’s U.S. Global Strategic Client Group, and as a global and U.S. leader of the firm’s manufacturing and automotive practices. In addition, he assisted a number of large corporations with their implementation of the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Previously, Mr. Gabrys served as the operations leader for Deloitte’s Financial Institutions Industry Group and served as the U.S. representative on its Global Banking Committee. He also previously served as lead audit partner and advisory partner to a number of financial and healthcare organizations.

Mr. Gabrys is also a member of the board of the National Association of Manufacturers and the board of the Manufacturing Institute. In addition, he is active on the boards and advisory councils of a number of organizations in the metropolitan Detroit area. He is past chairman of the board of the Detroit Medical Center, the Board of Directors for the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the Michigan State Chamber of Commerce. He is the treasurer of the Detroit Institute of Arts, as well as chair of its Finance Committee and a member of its Executive Committee. He is the former chairman of the Board of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. He also serves on the boards of ArtServe Michigan and The Alliance for a Greater Safer Detroit.

Erik Lundberg is the Chief Investment Officer at the University of Michigan, responsible for directing and overseeing the University’s $9.4 billion in investment programs which includes the 7th largest endowment among U.S. educational institutions. His primary responsibilities include developing and implementing asset allocation for all of the University’s investment programs, evaluating current and prospective investment managers, exploring alternative investment strategies, and ensuring successful communication and relations with the University and its Investment Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the University in 1999, Mr. Lundberg held several positions with Ameritech’s investment office, which was charged with overseeing $22 billion in pension and other plan assets. His responsibilities there included leading global asset allocation activities and managing the company’s U.S. and non-U.S. equity programs.

Doug Rothwell has worked as an executive in the public, private and non-profit sectors having worked for three state Governor’s and two Fortune 500 companies.  Currently, Doug is President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.  He helped form this organization and develop the Michigan Turnaround Plan, a five-step strategy to make Michigan a top ten state for job & economic growth that has gained broad support throughout the state. Prior to joining Detroit Renaissance, Doug served as Executive Director of Worldwide Real Estate for General Motors.

Doug also founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. During his ten-year tenure, Michigan was named the number one state for attracting and retaining corporate site location investments an unprecedented four years in a row, was cited for achieving one of the top business climates in the nation, and was consistently named the best state economic development agency. His work continues to serve as the foundation for much of Michigan’s economic development strategy, including: Renaissance Zones, Smart Zones, Brownfield redevelopment incentives, MEGA tax credits, economic development job training grants, M-TEC training centers, the NextEnergy initiative and business retention program. Previously he served as Chief of Staff to the Governor of Delaware and was an Executive Vice President at MBNA Corporation, the nation’s second largest credit card issuer (now part of Bank of America).

Investments

We at the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund believe that venture capital is both a driver of strong financial returns and of economic growth, and the venture capital funds in which we have invested reflect this belief.

_0010_5am

5AM Ventures

5AM Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on building next-generation life science companies. Founded in 2002, 5AM Ventures has offices in Menlo Park, CA and Waltham, MA and over $435 million under management.

 
_0009_allos

Allos Ventures

Allos Ventures invests in early-stage companies, augmenting the capital provided by angel investors who have helped the companies reach a stage at which they are ready for their first institutional financing round. Allos leverages the investment experience and business-building skills and resources developed over the past decade by its principals in over 100 investments. Additionally, many of Allos' investors are successful technology company entrepreneurs, allowing it to tap into an even broader experience base of business-building expertise.

 
 
_0008_arboretum

Arboretum Ventures

Arboretum Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm specializing in the healthcare sector. Arboretum aims to transform young companies into mature and thriving businesses that improve patient outcomes and lower the cost of care. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Arboretum currently manages approximately $170 million in capital.

 
_0007_arsenal

Arsenal Venture Partners

Arsenal Venture Partners invests in early-stage companies that target extremely large commercial markets, but can also leverage the defense industrial complex in a manner that is beneficial to both the company and the defense community.

 
 
_0006_draper

Draper Triangle

As the Midwest-based Network Partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the leader in seed and early-stage venture capital, we offer entrepreneurs and investors a host of benefits unrivaled in the industry. Our Managers have significant experience in founding, investing in and growing early stage technology companies.

 
_0004_flagship

Flagship Ventures

Flagship brings decades of operating and investing experience to the more than sixty companies in its portfolio. The portfolio consists primarily of seed and early-stage investments, with some later stage value investments. Healthcare investments target therapeutics and medical technologies and sustainability investments target clean technology and energy. Critical elements of these investments include visionary people, transformative ideas, significant intellectual property protection, deep market understanding, and the opportunity for capital efficiency and leverage.

 
 
_0003_hig

H.I.G. Bioventures

H.I.G. BioVentures invests in a broad range of life science opportunities across sectors and stages. H.I.G.’s seasoned investment team has extensive and diverse experience in big pharma, small biotech, medical devices, diagnostics, basic science, clinical research, and technology transfer.

 
mercury

Mercury

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Mercury is a seed and startup venture capital firm that invests in compelling and novel information technology and science-based startup opportunities. Mercury seeks to partner with extraordinary entrepreneurs to build globally competitive businesses, focusing on technology innovation in the U.S. Midcontinent.

 
 
_0002_mk

MK Capital

With offices in Northbrook, Illinois, Santa Monica, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan, MK Capital invests in companies at all stages of the funding lifecycle, with a strong sector focus on digital media, data center automation, software, and education technology. The MK Capital team aligns closely with entrepreneurs as a funding partner, a reliable mentor, and a valuable resource to build successful businesses.

 
pvp

Plymouth Venture Partners

Venture capital firm adding value to growth stage companies in the great lakes region.

 
 
rccf

River Cities Capital Funds

Founded in 1994, River Cities Capital Funds is one of the most active and experienced growth equity funds in healthcare and information technology (IT). With nearly $500 million under management and more than 100 investments made, River Cities has established itself as a preferred partner among the entrepreneurial and private equity communities.

 
_0001_rpm

RPM Ventures

RPM, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an early-stage venture capital firm with a unique investing strategy and core platform that deliver repeatable, consistent value to portfolio companies and our investors.  RPM provides capital and guidance to entrepreneurs starting and building innovative technology companies.

 
 
_0000_tgap

TGap Ventures

TGap serves entrepreneurs throughout the Midwest by assisting them define, develop, grow, and build value in their businesses. The TGap team is a mix of successful venture capitalists, managers and entrepreneurs with the aptitudes, experience, empathy, realism and patience required to build great businesses from, and add value to, developing companies.

 
 

Direct Investments

 
arbormetric-logo

ArborMetrix

ArborMetrix combines clinical insight and statistical science to power the most strategic and flexible solution that healthcare providers can deploy to measure clinical performance and efficiency. By marrying innovative information technology, state-of-the-art measurement science, and insights from clinical experts, ArborMetrix helps clients make better decisions to optimize the quality and cost-efficiency of hospital and specialty care.

 
fidelis-logo

Fidelis Senior Care

Fidelis SeniorCare provides​ ​​ ​expert clinical care and care coordination services to "dual eligible" individuals - people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. ​The company is a leader in the development of ​ ​Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans​ and ​ ​Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans​ ​​ to care for individuals who live in their own homes, nursing homes and assisted living communities.  

 
 
swift-logo

Swift Biosciences

Swift Biosciences develops enabling products and technologies​ (reagents and kits)​ for genomics and personalized medicine. The company's technologies provide customers with powerful new ways to examine disease-related genes. Swift's products are designed to help customers analyze samples faster, easier and with greater sensitivity and accuracy, while being compatible with existing instrumentation.

 

Contact

TWITTER

ann-arbor

Ann Arbor

Address: 201 South Main Street, 10th floor, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2113

Phone: (734) 997-8661

Email: info@renvcf.com

detroit

Detroit

Address: 600 Renaissance Center, Suite 1760, Detroit, MI 48243-1802

Phone: (734) 997-8661

Email: info@renvcf.com

 

7ads6x98y