John Jenkins joined Dundee Venture Capital as a member of the general partnership in March, just as the company was setting out to begin investing its $31 million, third (and largest ever) fund.
“It’s going to be super exciting to now move out of the fundraising part of this third fund and into actually deploying the capital into really great teams and really great companies that are going to change a large part of the markets that they go into,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins bring technology startup experience in financial, insurance and healthcare industries to the team at Dundee Venture Capital.
The company is open to investing in technology companies with high growth potential across numerous industries, but they feel that their most successful partnerships occur when they invest in companies within the industries their partners know well.
“John’s experience means we now have a depth of knowledge and ability to foster startups in three more high-growth industries,” said Beth Engel, Dundee Venture Capital partner. “He also brings with him a network of relationships within these industries that can help startups often as much as the money.”
Jenkins himself has an impressive history of building and exiting companies. He bootstrapped his first two businesses, AlterBen, Inc. and COBRA Outsourcing Company. Most recently he founded and then exited Benaissance when it was sold in 2015 to publicly traded WEX, Inc. in an $80 million cash transaction.
Dundee Venture Capital founder Mark Hasebroock and Jenkins have been longtime associates turned friends who used to call on each other for advice while founding and growing their respective companies.
“John is incredibly thoughtful and he truly understands the daily terror and elation of being a founder. Like me, he’s lived it,” Hasebroock said. “Despite his astronomical success, he’s also made mistakes and will be the first to admit that and to tell you that those experiences made him stronger and better.”
Hasebroock sees the addition of Jenkins as a pivotal point for Dundee Venture Capital as he and his partners look toward the future.
“We can think not just about the next two, three or four years, but the next 25 years. This is something we want to be doing for a long time. We really want to help change the face of the Midwest startup ecosystem,” said Hasebroock. Someone like John helps catapult our efforts that much more quickly, but in a quality way.”
Christine McGuigan is the Associate Editor of Silicon Prairie News.