The Latest from FUND


June 24th & 25th, 2020


Learn from subject matter experts, ask questions, and get the info you need to keep moving forward.

Michael Norton Houlihan Capital Headshot

Who cares if you have 20k LinkedIn connections…

From never eating alone, to having more coffees in a day than most, Mike Norton is one of the most well networked individuals we know. In this episode we explore how he built, fosters and maintains those relationships and what it’s done for him, and others, to date.

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They innovate CPG & restaurant tech by investing in future leaders.

It’s not too far off to imagine that the next bragging right will be how close your food was grown to your home. Think about all those instagram posts you see about food that have you drooling. Is CPG the next recession proof business? We talk with Mandy Tahvonen who leads Relish Works, the innovation hub, incubator and investment fund of Gordon Food Service’s (GFS) on many more things that people need & love… food.

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Our vision is to empower the dreams of the military community.

Todd is the CEO and Founder of Bunker Labs, a national entrepreneurship organization dedicated to helping military veterans and their spouses start and grow businesses. His hope is that people don’t get out of the military and think the best years are behind them, but that see their best years are ahead of them. If this episode doesn’t have you motivated, give you goosebumps or challenge you to think differently, we don’t know what will.

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How I became friends with billionaire Mark Cuban from Shark Tank…

He is a trusted adviser and close confidante to some of the most high profile political and business leaders in America. How does he do it? In this episode we talk with Mark Vargas about the importance of starting, building and growing your personal & professional network with tips & tricks that anyone can use with the person next door, or billionaire Mark Cuban.

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JD Weinstein

Episode #6 – JD Weinstein (Oracle for Startups North America)

JD Weinstein heads up Oracle for Startups North America. He helps startups scale through Oracle’s rich enterprise ecosystem, cloud solutions, & global customer network.

He previously served as Principal of WPP Ventures, the world’s largest marketing communications company. He focused on venture investments in tech-enabled companies in MarTech, big data & market intelligence, RetailTech, AdTech, and content.

Prior to WPP, JD worked with Capital Factory as a Venture Associate, where he was responsible for deal sourcing & due diligence for the Capital Factory Accelerator & venture fund. He also worked with the UT Horizon Fund, the strategic market-driven venture fund for the University of Texas System.

JD’s vast experience in entrepreneurship and investing gives him keen insight as to help early-stage companies grow with Oracle’s ecosystem backing.

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Episode #5 – Dujon Smith (Accenture Ventures)

Dujon is the Midwest Lead for Accenture Ventures, forming bridges between Global companies and the startup ecosystem.

He has worked within Accenture’s Innovation Architecture for the past few years. Previously, he was with the Operations Studio where he focused as a growth catalyst for Operations clientele, the $6 billion business unit that provides business process services across more than 40 industries.

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Vic Pascucci Lightbank Chicago VC

Episode #4 – Vic Pascucci (Lightbank)

Vic Pascucci is a former trial lawyer who found entrepreneurship & the VC landscape fascinating and after helping countless entrepreneurs, decided to become a professional fund manager & investor.

After advising, coaching and investing in thousands of companies, Vic talks about his experience in what he looks for in companies, how to properly build your board, geographical investing and what it takes to continue to build the best company.

We also explore “Investing in the Midwest” and Vic’s thoughts on his experience as a coastal to midwest VC.

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Cayse Llorens Brockhurst Capital Partners Search Fund

#3 – Cayse Llorens, Brockhurst Capital Partners (Search Funds)

Cayse Llorens is Managing Partner at Brockhurst Capital Partners, a lower middle-market focused private equity fund.

Prior to founding Brockhurst, Cayse was a venture capital investor at Invest Detroit Ventures, OCA Ventures, and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Before he began investing in great entrepreneurs and companies, he participated in 3 investor-backed exits, serving as a software engineer and team lead: the $240 Million IPO of R1 RCM, the $1.8 Billion acquisition of Coyote Logistics by UPS, and the $400 Million acquisition of BSwift by Aetna.

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