Venture capitalist and startup expert Troy Henikoff is the co-managing director of MATH Venture Partners, an early- to growth-stage fund based in Chicago. He turned to that role full-time in early 2017 after running startup accelerator Techstars Chicago since 2011. He is also a board member of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which oversees 1871, and teaches a digital marketing course for entrepreneurs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
He told Blue Sky he would miss working so closely with Techstars Chicago and the founders it supports, but that he was ready to focus more time on the fund. Techstars offered a unique way to go through many different business experiences quite quickly, he said.
“That network of mentors and investors has so much leverage for you to grow, for you to get the context — whether it’s customers, whether it’s investors, whether it’s just advice,” Henikoff told Blue Sky. “One of the biggest mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs make is believing that there’s value in their idea. While the idea has some value, 99% of the value comes in how you execute the idea.”
In addition to MATH Venture Partners, Henikoff is a managing member of the early-stage tech investment Firestarter Fund.