Mark is the founder of Dundee VC. Mark got his entrepreneurial start selling colored moccasins to pay for a spring break trip while at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (he paid for the trip, then had to issue refunds upon his return when his customers quickly realized that the moccasin dye stained their feet).
After a stint as an investment banker – and one as a popcorn distributor – Mark co-founded his first company, Giftcertificates.com, in 1997. Next, Mark co-founded Hayneedle, which sold to Jet.com in 2016 before Jet went on to become part of Walmart.
In 2010, Mark formed Dundee VC to solve the problem he faced as an entrepreneur building two tech startups in Omaha: the lack of early-stage capital available throughout the Midwest. Since, he’s grown Dundee through three funds with over $50 million under management and nearly fifty investments, building a team around the Dundee mission – to invest in and partner with the best technology entrepreneurs in the Midwest at the earliest stages. Mark is the first Nebraska-based member of the Kauffman Fellows and is in Class 22. He sits on the Omaha Children’s Hospital Board of Directors, and he is now 7 time coach of the BPHL team. Importantly, he’s played and coached the Beer & Pretzel Hockey League’s Team AU into a seventh consecutive championship team.
Beth joined Dundee VC in 2013. Her path to a career in venture capital is unconventional; start in 1997, where Beth realized her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Notre Dame was better suited to teaching middle-school science rather than attending med school. After two happy years of teaching, and subsequent jobs at two Omaha-based startups, Beth was hired as the twelfth employee at Hayneedle, helping manage the company’s growth at a time when they were launching dozens of new product categories and websites every single month.
Following a move to the East Coast, Beth received her MBA from Georgetown and worked for four years for the FBI, creating a leadership development program for the Bureau before returning home to Omaha in 2013 to be Dundee VC’s first partner.
Beth is primarily responsible for investing in and managing portfolio companies, as well as helping to manage our internal team and assisting with capital raising and investor communication. Beth loves the flexibility and energy of working with startups. She hosts an annual Christmas “Caroloke” party where she wows a crowd playing the piano while her brother leads the assembled in a rambunctious holiday sing-a-long.
Greg joined Dundee VC in 2013 and now leads our investment efforts in Minneapolis. Greg started out as an intern on our team, before graduating from the Heider College of Business at Creighton University with degrees in Finance and Economics.
Throughout his time at Dundee VC, Greg has touched every aspect of the work we do, from investor reporting to raising capital to testing out an AngelList syndicate for two investments in 2015. Greg moved to Minneapolis in August of 2016, and primarily focuses on deal sourcing, investments, and portfolio company management. Greg is a semi-retired pro poker player and an avid traveler, having been to sixteen countries. He aspires to climb Mount Kilimanjaro by 2020 (he’s also afraid of heights, so good luck).
David joined the Dundee VC team in early 2016 and manages our Chicago office. David brings to our team two decades of varied investment, operations, and legal experience. David graduated cum laude from Harvard University with an AB degree in Government, then earned his JD degree from the Northwestern University School of Law, spending two years as a corporate attorney after.
Immediately prior to Dundee, David managed Lakewest Venture Partners with Dundee VC advisors Jon McCulloch and Buzz Ruttenberg. Lakewest made nearly 30 investments from 2010 to 2015 out of a $3M fund, deployed mostly in Chicago, and through his role there David managed to get to know the entire Chicago startup and VC ecosystem. Now, David is responsible for sourcing, investing, and managing the best startups in Chicago and across the broader Midwest. David is a die-hard Chicago cubs fan, and still reminds us that they won the World Series in 2016.
John joined Dundee VC in 2017 after 20+ years building and exiting three highly successful businesses. After getting kicked out of his first sales job, John built and sold his first company, AlterBen, a regional employee benefits brokerage firm. Next, he launched COBRA Outsourcing Company, which became the largest stand-alone COBRA and direct billing administrator serving over 4,000 employers nationally, before exiting to a strategic buyer in 2007.
John didn’t stop there. He founded Benaissance in 2007, a cloud based advanced billing solution for benefit administrators, insurance carriers, insurance exchanges and governmental entities. Benaissance was purchased in 2015 for $80M by public company WEX Health.
John lives and breathes the start-up journey, having built companies in partnership with investors and by brute force bootstrapping. He knows where the landmines are, he knows the shortcuts and loves building high quality companies who deliver amazing outcomes. John is expanding Dundee’s presence in Healthcare IT, fintech and insurance tech worlds, focusing on those three sectors, while also being a resource to all existing portfolio founders. JJ’s favorite place in the world? Jackson Hole, where he was during the 2017 total solar eclipse.
Allie is the most recent addition to Dundee VC. She joined the team full time in July 2017 after spending a year as an intern for the firm. Throughout her internship, she conducted market research, evaluated investment opportunities, assisted in the fundraising process for Dundee VC’s third fund, and created a more effective means to measure and track the firm’s deal flow.
Allie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Heider College of Business at Creighton University with degrees in Financial Analysis and Business Analytics. Her current focus is on sourcing investment opportunities in addition to helping our team analyze market and industry trends impacting the technology sector.
Outside of Dundee VC, Allie enjoys tapping into her creative side through painting as well as running. She intends to run over 1000 miles this year, driving closer to her goal to run a marathon by 2019. Allie’s dog Sage often accompanies her on runs and helped pioneer the effort to make Dundee Venture Capital a dog-friendly workplace.
Jon’s technology venture experience began in 2010 when he, Buzz Ruttenberg, and David Mann formalized Lakewest Venture Partners. Making several dozen investments between 2010 and 2015 expanded Jon’s network of entrepreneurs, service providers, and co-investors in the VC industry. With the merging of Lakewest Venture Partners and Dundee VC in 2016, Jon’s involvement ranges from diligence to investment committee review to active board involvement.
His business experience deepens into real estate development and investment: Jon is the Senior Vice President at Belgravia Group, Ltd., a leading Chicago real estate development firm, as well as Principal for Lakewest, Inc. Jon joined Lakewest/Belgravia in 2004 and he manages Belgravia’s residential developments, performs underwriting analysis for new company endeavors, and oversees the company’s equity raises. For Lakewest, he has led the execution of real estate acquisitions totaling over $250MM as well as the creation and management of private equity and venture capital investments. Jon sits on the board of directors of Accel Entertainment, the market-share leader of video gaming terminals in the Illinois video gaming market. Jon received a B.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s a magician in more ways than one.
David W. “Buzz” Ruttenberg co-founded Lakewest Venture Partners with David Mann and Jonathan McCulloch in 2010. He is also the President and Managing Broker of Lakewest, Inc., Founder of Belgravia Group, Ltd. and a Principal in the law firm of Ruttenberg, Gilmartin & Reis LLC. He completed his undergraduate course work at Cornell University and received a J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law. He also pursued post-graduate studies in economics at London University, School of Economics.
For more than 40 years, Mr. Ruttenberg has been actively involved in the development of residential, retail and commercial properties, principally located in the core communities of Chicago. An active investor in various alternative strategies throughout his life, Buzz was eager to participate in the growth of Chicago’s tech ecosystem upon co-founding Lakewest Venture Partners. With the merging of Lakewest Venture Partners and Dundee VC in 2016, Buzz’s strategic advisory role has proved invaluable in the areas of deal sourcing, due diligence and business development.