New World Ventures Names New Partners

Chicago-based venture capital firm New World Ventures said on Thursday that it has named Carter Cast and Dave Habiger as venture partners. Cast is the former CEO of while Habiger is the former CEO of Sonic Solutions. Also, Kevin Willer, the former president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, has joined the team as strategic advisor to the company.


CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–New World Ventures today announced two highly respected executives have joined the Chicago-based venture capital firm’s team of investors. Carter Cast and Dave Habiger will serve as venture partners, working to expand the firm’s investments in ecommerce and new media. In addition, Kevin Willer has been named strategic advisor to the firm.
Cast, best known for his work launching jewelry e-tailer Blue Nile (NASDAQ: NILE), was later the CEO of, leading the business to profitability as it became the third-largest ecommerce site in the U.S. Cast also serves as an advisor to New World Ventures’ portfolio companies, including SMS Assist, where he is a board member. Cast began his career at PepsiCo, where he launched Tostitos salsas and dips and also held leadership positions at Electronic Arts, where he launched products including SimCity 3000 and The Sims.
Habiger is an advisor to the firm’s latest investment, Simple.TV, a California company that offers the first personal DVR to stream live and recorded TV to any web-enabled device. Habiger previously served as CEO of Sonic Solutions, which was acquired by Rovi Corporation, and CEO of NDS, which was acquired by Cisco Systems for $5 billion.
Willer announced on February 13 that he was joining the Illinois Innovation Accelerator Fund as partner, and stepping down from his role as president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), which runs Chicago’s digital startup center, 1871. Prior to joining the CEC in 2011, Willer co-founded the Chicago office of Google and, over 10 years with the company, helped grow the office to more than 400 people.
“Carter, Dave and Kevin are incredibly successful executives who have launched and helped build some of the world’s most successful digital enterprises,” said J.B. Pritzker, New World Ventures founder. “These leaders are invaluable resources for both our investment team and our portfolio companies.”
About New World Ventures
New World Ventures, a member of The Pritzker Group, is a multi-stage venture capital firm helping entrepreneurs build market-leading information technology companies. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has worked side-by-side with entrepreneurs at more than 100 companies by providing a broad network of strategic relationships, advice based on several decades of experience, and capital with tremendous flexibility. Recent successes include Fleetmatics (NYSE: FLTX), SinglePlatform (acquired by Constant Contact), Zinch (acquired by Chegg), Playdom (acquired by Disney), LeftHand Networks (acquired by Hewlett-Packard), and TicketsNow (acquired by Ticketmaster).