Thank You: On Leaving Chicago Ventures

The last six years have been the most exciting, important and fundamental of my life. Over that period, I graduated from business school, was blessed with three beautiful children with my wife Shira, and purchased my first home, amongst other major life events. But throughout it all, there was a constant presence – my second home: Chicago Ventures.

It’s bittersweet to tell the world that I’m leaving the team that gave me my start as a Venture Capitalist. Bitter, because it’s difficult to leave a group of wonderful friends. Sweet, because I take with me six years of learnings, relationships, and growth – and get to pursue exciting new opportunities that only exist because of the platform & exposure that Chicago Ventures provided me.

I’d like to formally thank my teammates Stuart Larkins, Kevin Willer, Lindsay Knight, Peter Christmas, Jason Duboe, Rob Chesney and Jackson Jhin for six years of lasting memories, laughs, and counseling. I’d also like to thank CV’s investment committee, Pat Ryan Jr, Adam Koopersmith, Eric Reeves, and previously, Bob Fealy, who took me and my recommendations seriously, well before they had any reason to suspect I had any clue what I was doing (pro tip: I still don’t and that’s OK!).

But the absolute hardest part of it all is walking away from the founders and teams that I’ve had the privilege of working with on a daily basis for many years. Starting a business is one of the most complex, volatile, yet rewarding pursuits any human being can engage in and I’m humbled that dozens of founders were willing to open up to me, trust me, and depend on me with their babies. I can only hope that our 11:30pm freak out sessions, our shared tears and smiles, and all out brainstorming meetings helped cement lifelong friendships. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from each of you.

Thanks for all the lasting memories:

cvparty

Chicago Ventures holiday party circa 2015

Studentfellows

Opening dinner with the 2016-2017 Chicago Ventures Student Fellows

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Going away dinner circa last week 🙂

 

About the author

Ezra Galston
Ezra Galston

Consumer focused hustling @Chicago Ventures, Young Entrepreneur @Foundation Capital, Class 18 @Kauffman Fellow, and Chicago Booth MBA. Former professional poker player, with 4 years experience doing marketing/biz dev in the online gaming industry. Launched a "poker hedge fund" in 2011, a record label in College, and produced a festival screened short film in 2006.

  • Nikhil Basu Trivedi

    congrats on a phenomenal tenure, Ezra! excited to hear what’s next :). all the very best, always.

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