Steven Farsht

INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

Steve is a Board Member and Director at Techstars Chicago, serves on the Advisory Board of Hyde Park Venture Partners and is a Member of the FireStarter Fund.  He has invested directly in several startups including Tap.Me, MightyNest, SA Ignite, Food Genius, Power2Switch, TradingView and FindIt. Steve was COO of Tap.Me, which was sold to MediaMath in 2012.

Previously, Steve was a General Partner with Norwest Equity Partners. Over his 9 years with the firm, Steve invested $280 million of equity in 13 management buyouts and growth capital investments across a variety of industries. His platform companies completed 9 add-on acquisitions. Steve served on the 8 Boards of Directors and led the sale of several companies to strategic and financial buyers.

Steve also ran one of the firm’s portfolio companies where he conceptualized, developed and commercialized Probate Finder OnDemand, the first and only automated estate location and claim filing solution. He also developed and launched MyWayForward.com, the first online resource designed specifically for people who are dealing with the death of a loved one.

Steve has an undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a graduate degree from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.

Print Vita
Education
MBA, 1998, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
BBA, 1992, School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Other Professional Experience
Director and Board Member, Techstars, 2013-present
Advisory Board Member, Hyde Park Venture Partners, 2011-present
Member, FireStarter Fund, 2011-present
Advisory Board Member, ActiFi, Inc., 2010-present
Chief Operating Officer and Board Member, Tap.Me, 2011-2013
Executive in Residence, Excelerate Labs, 2011-2011
Chief Executive Officer, Forte, LLC, 2007-2010
Chief Executive Officer, DCM Services, 2007-2010
General Partner, Norwest Equity Partners, 1997-2007
Independent Consultant, Genmar Holdings, Inc., 1996-1996
Senior Accountant/Consultant, Arthur Andersen LLP, 1992-1996

 
Print Research

 
Print Teaching
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
New Venture Development (KIEI-940-0)

This course counts toward the following majors: Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Formerly ENTR-940-0

Previously known as Innovation Lab I, this course is the logical continuation of New Venture Discovery (KIEI 462). If a student or student team has a business concept that they want to pursue further, they are encouraged to apply to New Venture Development. This course is focused on testing and validating product-market fit, user interfaces and experience and advancing to the development of a refined MVP concept. Teams are not expected to have programmers at this point as the focus is on using a variety of free ware to test the product/service. A significant portion of the workload for this course will occur outside of the classroom. Students must be prepared to test and validate their business model hypotheses by engaging with potential customers and industry experts. Within the classroom, students will be encouraged to share learning experiences and help other student teams. The course work will be supplemented by guest speakers who are experts in specific industries as well as functional areas and a pool of alumni and local mentors who can assist in the development of their businesses.

New Venture Development will be offered in the fall and winter quarters. Upon the completion of New Venture Development, student teams and faculty will determine whether a team should move to New Venture Launch. Other courses that are beneficial to take in advance of this course are: MKTG 961: Entrepreneurial Tools for Digital Marketing and MORS 952: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures Admittance to New Venture Development is by application only. The application is available here.. If a student wants to by-pass KIEI 462, they must identify that they are well versed in the process of design thinking and have already conducted significant market research to validate their business concept.