Rick Desai is a Partner at Listen, a brand-focused venture capital firm in Chicago. At Listen, Rick leads investment strategy, sourcing, and diligence and works closely with portfolio companies on marketing and technology initiatives. Rick is also a co-founder of Dashfire, a startup studio that built and invested in over 40+ companies since 2009 including 20 in Chicago. Rick was awarded a Clinton Fellowship in 2008 and spent one year leading social enterprise strategies in urban Indian slums. He previously was an investor at Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm and was in Lehman Brothers Investment Banking Group.
Rick is an active supporter and investor in the Chicago tech eco-system. Rick is a graduate of Georgetown University and co-founder of Venturing Hoyas.
**This course was formerly known as KIEI-940-0**New Venture Development is the logical continuation of New Venture Discovery (KIEI 462). Students that have completed initial testing and market research and have determined that there appears to be a product-market fit for a customer base of a significant size, can apply to this course. 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. There is an emphasis on using digital tools to test customer acquisition and messaging.