Wisconn Valley Ventures has hired Dr. Jason Franklin to lead its $100 million early-stage venture fund. Dr. Franklin is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who has been a partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a venture partner at Avalon Ventures. Wisconn Valley Venture Fund will invest in the healthcare, technology, manufacturing and financial services sectors. Dr. Franklin will be based in Milwaukee and San Francisco.
MILWAUKEE, March 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn, Johnson Controls, and Northwestern Mutual announced today they have selected Jason Franklin, Ph.D. to lead the $100 million Wisconn Valley Venture Fund. The early-stage venture capital fund is designed to invest both nationally and globally, targeting transformative and interdisciplinary innovations in health care, technology, manufacturing and financial services.
Dr. Franklin is an award-winning computer scientist and deep-tech entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. Following his career as a research scientist and visiting lecturer in the computer science department at Stanford University, Dr. Franklin was a partner on the investment team at Andreessen Horowitz, a Venture Partner at Avalon Ventures and an Investment Fellow at Innovation Endeavors.
Previously, he co-founded and served as CEO of Stamp Labs, a mobile security startup founded with two Stanford professors. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and his bachelor’s degree, conferred with top honors with a double major in computer science and mathematics and a minor in business, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I’m excited to return to Wisconsin to take part in this unprecedented opportunity to transform our region into a driving force for advanced technology and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Franklin. “My goal with Wisconn Valley Venture Fund is to generate strong returns and deliver strategic opportunities for all four fund partners, while simultaneously stimulating the already strong entrepreneurial spirit of the region.”
Each fund partner has committed $25 million to the Wisconn Valley Venture Fund and has representation on the fund’s investment committee. Dr. Franklin, who will be based in Milwaukee and San Francisco, will lead all aspects of the fund, including investment origination, evaluation, closing and ongoing portfolio company support.
About Wisconn Valley Venture Fund
Wisconn Valley Ventures is a $100 million early-stage venture capital fund established to invest both nationally and globally, targeting transformative and interdisciplinary innovations in health care, technology, manufacturing and financial services. It is a unique partnership among four leading companies to create one of the largest venture funds based in Wisconsin to drive innovation. Fund partners Advocate Aurora Health, Foxconn, Johnson Controls and Northwestern Mutual have each contributed $25 million to the fund in support of their commitment to advance innovative technology and position southeastern Wisconsin as a global technology hub.
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