Profile: New IVCA Board of Director Member, Ira Weiss of Hyde Park Venture Partners

Profile: New IVCA Board of Director Member, Ira Weiss of Hyde Park Venture Partners

August 19, 2020

Last year the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) announced their latest Board of Directors, who will serve from January 1st, 2020, to June 30th, 2021. There are many new faces and perspectives on the Board, so the IVCA is continuing a series of profiles for those recently minted BOD officers. The next profile is below …

New IVCA Board of Director Officer: Ira Weiss, Co-Founding Partner
Representative Firm: Hyde Park Venture Partners
 
IVCA: Tell us a little about your firm and your tenure there.
 
Ira Weiss: Hyde Park Venture Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on high-growth, mid-continent technology startups.  We seek companies with an exceptional founding team, and fast-growth potential, looking to raise a first or second round of capital. 
 
We have offices in Chicago and Indianapolis. Our team is tenacious, responsive and committed to adding value to each investment. In 2011, my colleague Guy Turner and I co-founded the firm. We are investing out of a $100M fund III, and have invested in successful Chicago area companies such as FourKites, ShipBob and G2.  

IVCA: What made you decide to Join IVCA’s board?
 
Weiss: I care about the mission and goals of the IVCA. I want a strong entrepreneurial eco-system across the state of Illinois.
 
IVCA: The IVCA’s mission is to support and promote private company investing in the Midwest. Can you talk about your involvement in correcting some of the misperceptions of the VC/PE business models and how it promotes economic growth? Any ideas for how IVCA can do this more effectively?
 
Weiss: Most of the start-ups we invest in have less than ten employees when we get involved. In some cases, our companies have grown to 500-1000 employees in Illinois, creating a significant number of jobs. IVCA can continue to highlight stories of their member portfolio companies that have grown rapidly and hired aggressively in markets that the IVCA serves.
 
IVCA: The coming months will be difficult as we figure out how to move through the pandemic and expected recession, any thoughts on how VC/PE will fare?
 
Weiss: We focus on technology investing. Much of the tech sector has benefited from this environment, as tech tools have been adopted more quickly for areas such as eCommerce and communication. While I expect VC investing activity to slow in the short and mid-term, I expect much of it to return by Q1 2021. Institutional LPs appear to have continued their commitment to venture funds through the pandemic. 
 
IVCA: The IVCA works to share ‘best in class’ operational practices across firms, any thoughts on how that might help firms weather our current storms?
 
Weiss: I'm sure our companies would be interested in sharing notes about adapting to this new environment.
 
IVCA: What are you hoping to offer and gain from IVCA Board Participation?
 
Weiss: I hope to offer an early-stage, high-growth perspective. Our firm has targeted a handful of sectors that are strong in Midwest such as logistics, manufacturing tech and farming. I hope to gain a more complete perspective of Private Equity investing orientation.
 
For the Hyde Park Venture Partners bio of Ira Weiss, click here.