Meet Seema Chennamsetty, MVCA’s newest Venture Fellow! Seema moved to Michigan from Los Angeles, where she was at Pathway Capital Management, a fund-of-funds focused solely on venture capital and private equity. As she settles in at Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), and we asked her to introduce herself to our MVCA community:
Tell us about your background?
I’m originally from Southern California and graduated from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, with an emphasis in finance and management consulting. Southern California isn’t a terrible place to live :), so I took a job at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors’ growth equity group, where I was responsible for new investment due diligence and portfolio management. Three years later, I joined Pathway Capital Management, and after another three years my husband and I were looking forward to moving closer to his family. I’m grateful to the MEDC and the MVCA for funding and running the Venture Fellows Program, which gave me the opportunity to advance my career in my chosen profession in Detroit as opposed to another Midwest city.
How did you find out about the Fellows program? What advantage do you think the Fellows program gives younger professionals and venture firms when trying to make a match?
I learned about the program through Detroit Venture Partners, a firm I eventually joined. DVP vice president Jared Stasik is a former MVCA Venture Fellow and shared how instrumental the program had been to his career path. Since I am new to the Michigan venture community, being an MVCA Venture Fellow is a great way to get acclimated, as well as network and learn best practices amongst peers.
The MVCA Venture Fellows program is an excellent platform for connecting professionals looking to establish a career in venture capital with reputable firms in Michigan. The program also provides mentorship and coaching to help its venture fellows successfully integrate into the community.
What are you most looking forward to being a Fellow?
As an MVCA Venture Fellow at DVP, I am excited to be a part of a larger movement–the ability to aid in revitalizing Detroit’s economy through entrepreneurship. There is so much opportunity in the city to make a difference! The Venture Fellows Program will also allow me to network with venture professionals at other Michigan firms who are similar to me in age and experience, and as well as help introduce me to the wider Michigan venture community.
What will you be doing at DVP?
As a senior associate, I will be responsible for vetting new investment opportunities, deal execution and assisting with portfolio management. Since DVP is also a community focused venture fund, I will also be concentrating heavily on investment opportunities in Detroit, which I’m excited about. There is so much happening in Detroit right now in terms of young companies starting up in the city, so there’s lots of opportunity for us.
What attracts you to the venture capital industry? Why build your career in Michigan?
I have always been drawn to venture capital as it intersects entrepreneurship, innovation and investing. I am looking forward to working alongside passionate entrepreneurs.
Michigan’s venture capital community has made significant strides over the past five years; however, there is ample opportunity to further strengthen and revitalize the state’s economy through innovation investing. That means Michigan firms raising more money to invest back into Michigan start ups, and I’m pleased to be part of a firm doing that important work. A stable entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has talent, new ideas, and capital investment in abundance, is so crucial to the long-term economic health of Michigan (and Detroit specifically), and I am excited to be a part of the movement.
What’s your dream deal (the venture backed firm you wish YOU had spotted first!)?
Uber! It has made transportation so much easier, especially in commuter cities where there is a lack of public transportation. I don’t know how I survived without it!