4490 Ventures is a technology-focused, early-stage venture capital fund based in Madison, Wisconsin.
We’re here because we believe the values that help define the upper Midwest—hard work, humility and integrity—are some of the same values that drive great entrepreneurs. We’re here to invest in passionate people, who desire to build something that solves a difficult problem in a novel way. We’re here to help startups in this region realize their full potential to become sizable, successful companies.
With over two decades of operating and venture capital experience, Greg thrives on the entrepreneurial spirit. Prior to 4490 Ventures, he spent more than a decade at California-based Peninsula Ventures, investing in early-stage software companies. He was also a cofounder and COO of Cogent Technologies, which was acquired by Brightstar.
Here in the Midwest, Greg sees a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem that has many of the ingredients necessary for significant growth. Or as he puts it, “there’s an amazing amount of enthusiasm to undertake ambitious endeavors—and a lot more elbow room.”
From his vantage point as both an entrepreneur and an investor, he can attest to the power of investing early, when the team and product strategy have yet to be fully formed. Every decision, however small and inconsequential it may seem, can have a long-lasting impact on the company.
He also notes that while every company is unique, their process, challenges and pitfalls are surprisingly similar. Something he wants every entrepreneur to know is that “the product, team and market you’re originally focused on is rarely the product, team and market you end up with. Develop the ability to learn and iterate quickly and cheaply; it will serve you well.”
Greg has a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University.
James has spent more than six years in the financial services industry, with Wachovia Securities, UBS Investment Bank, TRIAD Capital Management and Townhill Capital Partners. Most recently, James worked for Return Path, a venture capital-backed SaaS company based in New York City. While at Return Path, James worked in various roles within Corporate Development and Business Development.
Leaving behind the Brooklyn-to-Manhattan commute, 4490 Ventures is a homecoming of sorts for James, who was born and raised in the Midwest. He’s excited to team up with entrepreneurs in this region, to share learning back and forth, and to not be afraid to try and fail—because iterating and adapting are all part of a successful process.
“Help interesting and good people do interesting and good things” is a career mantra that serves James well in support of the entrepreneurs he works with at 4490 Ventures.
James has a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM 4490 VENTURES
Our style of partnership puts you, the founder, first. It’s our privilege to work with you, not the other way around. When we back an entrepreneur, we believe that making the investment is just the beginning of an enduring partnership.
4490 Ventures can invest as little as $50K and as much as several million in any given opportunity. Most of our investments are syndicated with other investors as part of a priced financing.
We prefer to invest early, when we can help guide entrepreneurs in the right direction and help establish the culture of the company. 4490 Ventures will typically invest in seed and Series A opportunities but will occasionally invest in companies that are more mature in their life cycle.
We prefer to lead investments and take a board seat alongside the founders. 4490 Ventures will remain active on the board throughout the life of the company.
4490 Ventures typically only invests in priced equity rounds. When leading a round we make every effort to keep the structure of the investment as simple as possible, avoiding unnecessary complexity.
4490 Ventures reserves significant capital for investing in follow-on financing rounds. We fully expect to support our portfolio companies throughout the life of the company.
4490 VENTURES MAKES INVESTMENTS BASED ON FIVE QUALIFICATIONS
4490 invests in disruptive technology with a strong bias toward software-based solutions. We like to invest in companies that operate in markets with predictable buyers, budgets and purchasing behaviors.
Solves Difficult Problems
This is an entrepreneur’s best defense against the competition. Solving difficult problems effectively and efficiently blocks potential competitors while creating tremendous value for your company.
We look for companies in which the capital requirements are commensurate with the market size and exit opportunity. We want to support entrepreneurs with the appropriate capitalization for their business needs.
4490 Ventures believes that founders who are capable of building their own product have an inherent advantage in the early days of the life of the company. We look for passionate, self-aware, curious, high-impact leaders.
We are based in the Upper Midwest and prefer to invest in the Upper Midwest. Just like the technology startups we serve, we’re here because of the smart people, the strong work ethic, and a drive to bring forth innovation.
Madison, WI 53703