Next Level Ventures is a venture capital firm which invests in growing companies. We typically invest $0.5 million to $5 million for a minority ownership position. Our team is looking for companies that have the potential to become big opportunities. We provide capital and strong management expertise to help your company to grow quickly.
We have backed several exciting businesses (see below), and we are seeking new, innovative companies.
Capital: We typically invest $0.5 to $5 million for a minority ownership position in each company. Through our investment partners, we can do even larger transactions. We generally invest for three to seven years.
Approach: We are proactive with our portfolio companies by serving on boards, providing oversight, generating strategic opportunities, and expanding globally. Plus we drive our portfolio companies to profitable outcomes for the entrepreneurs, employees, managers, and investors.
We are dedicated to providing strong investment returns to our investors as well as advice and support to our portfolio.
Craig has over 25 years of investment, entrepreneurial and senior management experience in the US and globally. He served as an officer of Maytag where he led the operations of the Amana Commercial Division and Jade Products. Craig founded and was CEO of Appliancezone, a supply chain software company based in London. Craig is a co-founder of Rebound Enterprises, which invests in various companies. Craig currently serves on the boards of BirdDogHR, VIDA Diagnostics and was the Chairman of Global ID Group which was acquired by Inverness Graham in 2013. He is also a member of Plains Angels, an angel investment group and has made several investments in Iowa and around the Midwest. He holds an MBA from Drake University and a BA from Luther College.
Duane has had over 30 years of experience in academics, business management, and private equity investing. He served as a professor at Iowa State University, worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and managed corporate M&A and business development activities at General Mills. Duane also helped build two private equity firms, first Churchill Capital and then Northstar Capital, that collectively have managed over $1 billion in investments. Duane also serves as a Partner of Capital Management Resources, an administrator for investment funds. For six years, he has been an active sponsor of the Okoboji Entrepreneurial Institute. He holds a PhD from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MS and BS from Iowa State University.
Scott has had several experiences as a CFO, investor, and strategic advisor. In these roles, he has worked on transactions that total more than $2 billion and has served on four boards of directors. He previously worked with UICO (a venture-backed touch technology company), Maroon Analytics (a private equity and advisory firm), New Markets Pte Ltd (a family investment office in Singapore), President Bill Clinton Foundation (a non-profit), Long Point Capital (a private equity firm), and Bear Stearns (an investment bank). Scott is a member of Plains Angels and was a member of Hyde Park Angels in Chicago, and Scott has invested in several start-up companies. Scott holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Colgate University.
Dave is the former Sr. Vice-President of Technology at Workiva, which he helped to grow from under 10 people pre-revenue to a public company with over $350M revenue. He also helped to grow the development organization to over 350 people. He has been in the technology industry for 30+ years with stints at large enterprises including Hewlett-Packard and Siemens and at startups including Workiva, Engineering Animation, and T.R.A.D.E., Inc. He is active on the Board of Directors of the Technology Association of Iowa, serving as the Chair in 2017. He is also active in the Iowa technology community through mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs and advising technology startups. Dave is a 1986 graduate of Iowa State University and currently lives in Ames, Iowa with his wife, Susan.
Michael has over 10 years of experience in private equity, banking, corporate finance / M&A, and technology project management. Michael joined Next Level Ventures in 2019 from Great Western Bank, a publicly-traded regional institution in the Midwest, where he was a commercial banker. He previously worked at Walmart Inc. in a number of capacities, including corporate finance, M&A, and merchandising technology. Before graduate business school, Michael spent four years in commercial real estate investment banking and private equity in Dallas, TX. He received a BS from Cornell University in 2009 and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in 2015.
Wyatt joined Next Level Ventures in 2020 out of public accounting where he worked with a diverse set of business entities of all sizes. He is originally from Boone, Iowa and holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Accounting from Iowa State University. In addition, Wyatt is a licensed CPA in the state of Iowa.
Director of Administration
Barbara has over 25 years of experience in all administrative activities for private equity fund management. She built the administrative infrastructure for both Churchill Capital and Northstar Capital where collectively she managed the administrative function for five separate funds. In addition, Barbara serves as the Managing Partner of Capital Management Resources where, during the past 14 years, she has developed and managed the administrative function for six private equity clients managing 11 separate funds. She also has prior experience in various administrative roles at Citicorp and CenterPoint Energy. She received an AA degree from Pillsbury College.
Tej remains a fixture in the startup community centered in Des Moines. With a background in co-founding and leading a technology firm, he remains deeply committed to technology and its applications. As a co-founder of StartupCity Des Moines, the Startup Iowa initiative, Plains Angels investment network, a member of the Iowa Venture Capital Association, the Midwest Angel Syndicate, Rise of the Rest Iowa team and much more, his focus remains on fostering and growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a part of the founding team and board member for the Global Insurance Accelerator and engagement with the Iowa Agritech Accelerator, Tej is always looking for support systems that enable innovation. A graduate of Central College and now a board member of his alma mater, Tej serves various non-profits in the community including Ballet Des Moines and the Technology Association of Iowa.
Todd is a proven and award-winning SaaS leader who brings over 25 years of experience in the human capital management industry with a track record of leading double and triple digit company growth. Todd currently serves the industry in many consultative capacities, including CEO and Founder of NPS Growth LLC, CEO and Founder of ActionablePeople and Senior Advisor to Arcoro and CEO of Workgroups DaVinci. Todd has a Bachelor of Finance degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and is an enthusiastic Husker fan.
Ryan has over five years of experience in investment banking, equities research and project finance. Most recently, he managed the M&A advisory team in Sydney, Australia for Grant Thornton providing middle market clients advice and execution services regarding their acquisition, divestment and capital raising activities. Ryan also worked in a similar role at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and prior to this worked at Commonwealth Bank of Australia as a sell-side research analyst and in the institutional banking property division. Ryan is originally from Perth, Australia and relocated to Des Moines in March 2014. He is a member of Plains Angels and is actively involved in the startup community in Iowa. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Notre Dame Australia and a Masters of Finance from Curtin University of Technology.