Jeremy Werner is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and growing companies, which led to his career in venture capital. As a new MVCA Venture Fellow, Werner shares why he’s excited to be back in Michigan working at venture firm, Beringea.
The Venture Fellows Program, supported by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is designed to increase the number of venture professionals in Michigan to accelerate the fundraising and deployment of capital into early-stage companies.
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 Fellows program from Charlie Rothstein and Michael Gross at Beringea as I made my transition back home to Michigan from Chicago. The Venture Fellows program will be a great way to get involved in venture capital community in Michigan. The value of a network is vital in our industry. I have learned during my short career that it is very important to help others and reach out for help when needed. As a MVCA Venture Fellow, I intend to enhance this attitude and persistently promote a collaborative culture. The MVCA network will be an important component in developing not only my career as a professional but also help with my due diligence process as I research and evaluate future investment opportunities.
What are you most looking forward to about being a Fellow? What will you be doing at your new firm?
I am a person who loves to meet new people and build relationships, especially with entrepreneurial people. I am most excited to be in a program with like-minded professionals. At Beringea, I will be responsible for originating new investment opportunities, executing new investments and working with portfolio companies. It is my goal to help the firm make successful growth equity investments.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? Why build your career in Michigan?
My future career goals are to continue to help companies raise growth capital and succeed. Completing this work in Michigan is extremely important to me. Michigan has always been my home and its community is very special. I plan on raising my kids in this community and I want them to live in a place that was even better than when I grew up. I believe investing in companies and in people is a great way to do achieve this. I want to take what I have learned in the past few years and help companies in Michigan grow and succeed. I see this as either working with a Venture Firm in Michigan or starting one of my own someday.
What attracts you to the venture capital industry?
I am very passionate about helping entrepreneurs and growing companies. It is extremely rewarding for me to be able to help entrepreneurs scale their companies and more importantly make their dreams a reality. Doing this for multiple companies and being a strategic partner to our CEOs is a dream job for me. Being able to invest and create lasting companies attracts me to the venture capital industry.
What’s your dream deal (the venture-backed firm you wish YOU had spotted first!)?
I am a big Elon Musk fan, so I would have to say Tesla. Elon Musk is trying to change the world for the better and is also trying to make a lot of money in the process. This mix of building something great and trying to do something better for the world is a path I want to follow. Musk’s driving entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking will change the world. Being an initial investor in Tesla would have made for an exciting and profitable ride.