Heartland Ventures
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Heartland Ventures

Why I joined Heartland Ventures

I was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship when my father started his own business in 2007. While at a much smaller scale than the businesses that Heartland interacts with today, I received a firsthand look at the unique pain points experienced by small and midsize businesses that don’t necessarily exist for large enterprises; hiring, operations, finance & payroll, and more.

More than a decade later, I stepped into the world of venture capital at the corporate venture arm of a large national insurance company. I gained incredible exposure to the asset class as a whole, but more importantly, it was an eye-opening experience into the role that strategically aligned VCs can play in the local ecosystem. I recognized that VCs could add more value beyond just capital to companies, communities, and economies — something that is particularly important at this stage of the business cycle.

The ‘Heartland’ in Heartland Ventures refers to where our 100+ Limited Partners (LPs) are located, not where we invest. Our network of business partners consists of mostly privately held, fast-moving industry leaders ripe for tech adoption. I have the unique opportunity to not only spend time with great founders, regardless of region, but I can also positively impact companies in both the Midwest and on the coasts. To give a specific example — leveraging Heartland’s network of multi-family property owners, who collectively own more units than any single owner in the US, to vet a solution and validate the severity of a pain point can create a powerful flywheel and lead to some incredible ‘win-win-wins’.

That’s why I joined Heartland Ventures.

While Heartland is an institutional VC firm in structure, we are highly strategic in our investment thesis; only investing when we are extremely confident that we can add value to both the startup and our network by bringing the two parties together. Given that we are the first and only exposure to venture for many of our LPs, Heartland has built a unique cohort of businesses to leverage as potential landing spots for new technology. The differentiated model and true value-add investing make me incredibly excited about what’s to come.

In my role at Heartland, I will be focusing on:

If you are building, investing, or just excited about innovation in our core Midwestern industries, please reach out to me at ryan@heartlandvc.com. I would love to connect!



Heartland Ventures is a value add venture investor that connects high-growth startups with new customers in the Midwest.

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