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For entrepreneurs, finding strong investors can have a significant impact on the future success of their company. Most entrepreneurs understand the value a good investor can provide: sage business advice, key connections, and necessary capital to support business visions. While investors exist across the globe, looking close to home can lead to a strong and lasting entrepreneur-investor relationship. Let’s take a look at five noteworthy regional investors.
Founder and Managing Partner of Louisville-based Poplar Ventures, an investment firm focused on tech companies in the enterprise software and mobility sectors, John Willmoth brings with him over thirty years of corporate experience. This Endeavor Mentor has led over a dozen venture investments and served on multiple corporate and civic boards. In addition, John is a Venture Partner at Chrysalis Ventures, a Louisville venture capital firm, where he uses his expertise in wireless telecommunications to assist their current technology sector portfolio companies and serves on the board of directors for select Chrysalis investments. Before founding Poplar Ventures, John served as a member of Nextel’s (now Sprint) senior management team since 1989 where he was instrumental in leading the company through an intensive growth phase and series of mergers and acquisitions.
As the CEO of Elevate Ventures, Chris LaMothe serves as the key visionary and strategist for the organization. Under Chris’ leadership, Elevate Ventures has implemented a unique hybrid approach to scaling entrepreneurism: the company is part venture capital fund and part entrepreneurial development partner. Chris has a history of working as an investor, owner, executive, and board member at a variety of organizations across different industries. He’s served as President and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce where he grew the organization to one of the top ten largest Chambers of Commerce in the United States. In addition, Chris is the owner of Ascendanci Ventures, an equity firm focused on investing in regional companies.
Partner at Rounsavall Investments, Elizabeth Rounsavall, has been working for decades making healthcare and technology investments. Before launching Rounsavall Investments she was the Director of Research & Analytics at Chrysalis Ventures. Prior to Chrysalis Ventures, Rounsavall held numerous senior associate and consultant positions including ones at the global strategy consulting firm, Booz & Company and prominent publishing houses like McGraw Hill and Simon & Schuster. As a Louisville native and passionate philanthropist Rounsavall is a director for a variety of organizations including as the Board Chair of Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Community Foundation. In 2007, Rounsavall co-founded the Louisville Mini Maker Faire and continues to serve as a mentor to Louisville’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.
With over 25 years of experience in corporate finance, Dale Boden currently serves as the Managing Partner at Weller Equity, a Louisville capital firm backing entrepreneur owners by providing flexible funding structures and investing in growth equity, management buyout, and majority recapitalization transactions. His work at Weller Equity isn’t all that keeps Dale busy. He also serves as CEO and President at BF Capital where he’s overseen investments in more than 85 different companies and partnerships, and raised and managed two venture funds: Yearling Fund I and Yearling Fund II. Dale has served as an executive for multiple companies and as a board member at a variety of organizations including pharmaceutical companies, higher education organizations, medical centers, and the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.
Founder and Managing Partner of Access Ventures, a Louisville impact investment firm focused on building more inclusive economies through mission-aligned investments, Bryce Butler brings years of executive and board experience to Kentucky. Before starting Access Ventures, Bryce was an Executive Director of a venture philanthropy family office in Southern Indiana, an Executive Pastor, and Executive Producer of BBOYS For Life, a documentary set in Guatemala that premiered at the United Nations in 2014. Bryce also served on active duty for four years with the US Army. In 2017, Bryce was selected as a Michael Rubinger Fellow by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, known as LISC, one of the largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. He was also named “Investor of the Year for 2017” by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. In addition to his work at Access, Bryce currently serves on multiple local boards.
We’re excited by the prospects these investors and many others bring to the regional ecosystems of Louisville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and beyond. Part of the Endeavor model is seeking out reinvestment opportunities so that the next generation of high-growth entrepreneurs can continue to make their local and global economies thrive.
For more on Endeavor’s Impact in the Louisville region and beyond, see our ‘Impact Report: Volume I’, or read more from our blog.
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