Back to Blog June 28, 2017 in

Congratulations, Chris Rizik! Winner of EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award

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EY announced that Chris Rizik, CEO of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, has received the Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Award!

Chris Rizik, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
Chris Rizik, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund

The awards program, which is celebrating its 31st year, recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Chris won the award for the Financial Services category.

“It is a great honor for all of us at Renaissance to be recognized by EY and the Entrepreneur of the Year program for our novel venture capital fund of funds that combines smart investing, regional impact, and corporate innovation,” said Chris Rizik. “We’ve been big fans of the Entrepreneur of the Year program for years, and are grateful to EY and the program’s sponsors for their work honoring great entrepreneurs around the world. I am both humbled and excited to be among those who have been honored.”

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Chris is the Chief Executive Officer of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, a strategic venture capital fund of funds formed by a consortium of Fortune 1000 and major private companies that works to invest in and strategically connect venture capital funds and start-up companies with major corporations and to help grow the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem. Chris is also the founder and publisher of, America’s most popular soul music online magazine, and has been a leader in venture capital in the Midwest for two decades.

Chris is also integrally involved in many of the most important efforts to increase entrepreneurial opportunity in Michigan, including the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, where he serves as a member of the Executive Committee and is the Finance Subcommittee Chair. He also chairs the executive committee of Detroit’s business accelerator TechTown, chairs the investment committee of the innovative community investment fund The First Capital Fund, the steering committee of the New Economy Initiative, the National Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer, and boards or advisory boards of Invest Detroit, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan, University of Detroit Jesuit, and several venture capital funds, including the Procter & Gamble-led fund of funds, Cintrifuse.

Rizik will be eligible for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National competition. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

About Renaissance Venture Capital Fund

The Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is a fund of funds that supports the growth of venture capital in Michigan while serving as a bridge between Michigan’s emerging innovation company community and its strong industrial and commercial base. Formed by Business Leaders for Michigan, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund boasts as its members many of Michigan’s most important organizations.  It has become a national model for strategic, financially successful regional investing.  Through its investment in top tier venture firms that are active in Michigan, as well as its own co-investments in emerging Michigan companies, the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is helping to drive forward both innovation and growth of emerging companies in the region. And it is again proving that Michigan, with its unique combination of scientific, engineering and business talent, is a great place in which to invest.

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients, and for our communities.

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