What is your motivation for helping entrepreneurs build companies?
“Technology is our future. Helping brave entrepreneurs who dare to beat the odds of building something great from nothing is not only exhilarating but provides an opportunity to be a part of something big, something that could change lives.”
How did you get into tech?
“I was a technology investment banker in the early 90’s. This is where JB and I met. I’ve always been interested in that next cool thing.”
If an entrepreneur asks, “How do I get you to invest in something I build,” you tell them…
“Solve a problem you’ve experienced first hand.”
If you could be in another line of work, what would it be and why?
“If I could make a living racing cars, that would be my first choice. Short of that, an engineer on an F1 racing team.”
How do you spend time away from work?
“When not busy with my family, you can find me on the race track. For more than a decade, I have been racing Spec Miatas in the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) and Midwest Council amateur racing leagues. The physicality and mental focus of racing help reset my being and bring perspective and clarity.”
Chris joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 1996 and has served as its Managing Partner since 1998. During this time, he has led the organization and capital formation for 7 technology venture funds and has led or overseen investments in more than 150 companies. For more than 20 years, Chris has assisted management teams in building businesses, including helping guide strategy, execution and overall value creation, and optimizing liquidity events. As an active investor and board member, Chris works closely with companies providing general management, finance and operational assistance.
His prior experience includes the corporate finance departments of two regional investment banking firms, The Chicago Corporation and Kemper Securities, Inc. As a banker, Chris focused on technology-related transactions including public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and financial advisory. Prior to becoming a banker, he worked in the merger and acquisition group of KPMG Peat Marwick where he coordinated business valuations and divestiture engagements.
Chris currently serves on the boards of Advantage Optics, BASELAYER Technology, and IO Data Centers. In addition, Chris serves on several non-profit boards including the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Brown University Sports Foundation, the National Venture Capital Association as well as a Development Council Member for US Soccer Federation. Chris also serves as a mentor and advisor to numerous accelerators, funds and individual entrepreneurs. Chris received a ScB. degree in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.