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 currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and is the Finance Subcommittee Chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (the state’s economic development organization), and chairs the Executive Committee of the high tech accelerator TechTown and the Investment Committee of the innovative First Step Fund. Chris also serves on the Steering Committee of the New Economy Initiative, the National Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer, and boards or advisory boards of Invest Detroit, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, University of Detroit Jesuit, and several venture capital funds, including the Procter & Gamble-led fund of funds, Cintrifuse. Chris is a 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year winner and a past Crain’s Detroit Business magazine “Newsmaker of the Year.”