Maura O'Hara

Maura O'Hara
(Steve Ewert / IVCA)

Maura O’Hara has been at the center of the venture capital world for nearly a decade. She’s executive director of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, a trade group whose members collectively invest $100 billion in assets under management.

“The entrepreneurial world and corporate world have very few points of intersection,” O’Hara told Blue Sky. “I would like to see Chicago and Illinois corporations decide that they’re going to allocate a certain percent of their budgets to sourcing from new and emerging companies here. That would be a huge win for everybody involved.”

As a 25-year marketing and strategy veteran of Sears, beauty-care maker Helene Curtis and merger and acquisition firm Stevenson & Company, O’Hara has experienced all sides of the investment universe. She is a board member of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and has been a repeat judge at the Chicago Innovation Awards.

O’Hara holds a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University. She lives in Oak Park with her husband and their two children.

Find her on social: @ivcaillinois Maura O’Hara