Challenges in Middle Market
PE and Early Stage VC Investing:
New Ideas and Strategies

Future of Traditional, Early-Stage VCs

Bret Maxwell ’82
Managing General Partner, MK Capital

Bret is a Managing General Partner at MK Capital which manages over $250 million in two venture capital funds which have invested in more 35 digital media and software companies since 2003. He is also the Managing General Partner on three of the Productivity Funds totaling $200 million in committed capital. Bret has been a decision-making partner in six other fully invested funds, representing over $300 million in committed capital. Prior to founding MK Capital, he was the co-Founder of First Analysis' venture capital practice in 1985. In addition to his expertise in digital media and software, Bret has invested in outsourced business services, environmental services, telecom and internet infrastructure, and energy and power infrastructure over the past 28 years. Bret is a graduate of The McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and Kellogg's Graduate School of Management. He has served as the Chairman of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and is a director on the board of Mount Sinai Hospital and on the finance committee of the Jewish United Fund. He is also Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Adam Koopersmith ‘00
Partner, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Adam joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 2004 and primarily focuses on companies dedicated to bringing to market novel SaaS applications, interactive marketing solutions or interactive health applications. Prior to joining Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Adam held various senior operating and business development roles at Sportvision (the world’s leader in technology-based enhancements for live sports programming, and a Pritzker Group portfolio company), helping the company grow from the “business plan” stage to eight figures in annual revenue. Prior to Sportvision, Adam worked at Berkshire Partners, a leading private equity investment firm with $11.5 billion of capital under management. His experience at Berkshire included investment evaluations and closed transactions in several industries, including business services, retail and manufacturing, in addition to significant work helping portfolio companies achieve their strategic objectives. Before joining Berkshire, Adam worked as an investment banker for Alex Brown (now Deutsche Bank) and participated in a broad range of merger and acquisition and public equity transactions for mid-sized companies.

Adam currently serves on the boards of Advantage Optics, Alliance Health Networks, Analyte Health, Firm58, Kontiki and Sittercity. Adam also serves on the Investment Committee for Chicago Ventures – a seed-stage investment fund, and on the board of Techstars Chicago, a mentor-driven seed investment program. Adam graduated with a B.S. in economics with concentrations in finance and international management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with concentrations in organizational behavior and decision sciences.

Chris Olsen
Co-founder and Partner, Drive Capital

A native of Cincinnati, Chris built his career investing in emerging technology and healthcare companies. Prior to founding Drive Capital Chris was a partner at Sequoia Capital for 6 years, and before that an investor with Technology Crossover Ventures. His first job out of school was on the professional squash circuit where he quickly learned he was better suited to work with entrepreneurs.