Chris Franz Joins First Capital Ventures as EVP & Managing Director
First Capital Ventures announced today that it has significantly augmented its senior leadership team and execution capabilities with the addition of Chris Franz as EVP & Managing Director. Chris is a seasoned financial manager, an accomplished emerging tech entrepreneur and a prominent leader in the Colorado startup community. For First Capital Chris will serve as a fund manager for Viridis Fund I, cultivating both dealflow and capital sources. He will also identify and analyze potential clients for First Capital’s Growth Partners division (formerly First Capital Xcelerator).
Chris Franz has over 20 years of experience in building and scaling high tech, high growth companies. Chris has founded more than 10 startups focusing on emerging technology, data analytics, SaaS software and data center systems. He has built companies funded by venture capital, angel capital and bootstrapping. Chris was previously CEO & President of Atrium Capital Management Group, where he integrated traditional financial services discipline with big data analytics. With Atrium colleague Brent Johnson, now First Capital Managing Director & General Counsel, Chris managed and deployed over $100 MM in fund assets and over $75 MM in lending facilities.
Other prior leadership roles include those with Northrup Grumman, TRW and Health Allies (acquired by UnitedHealth Group). Chris has run technology organizations with budgets from nearly nothing up to $3.5 B.
Chris is a respected mentor, board member and leader of the startup movement in Colorado. He is a global facilitator for the TechStars Startup Weekend program, which drives home the lean startup process for aspiring entrepreneurs. He has served on numerous start-up and non-profit boards to drive the entrepreneurial ecosystem including the boards of Startup Colorado and Peak Startup. He was named the 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Colorado Springs (CO) Business Journal.
With a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Chris brings extraordinary technical acumen to First Capital.
“First Capital has always been a respected name in financial services circles, and has in recent years emerged as a champion of small business and new markets,” stated Chris Franz. “I believe the launch of Viridis Fund I is perfectly timed, and the investment vehicle ideally structured for prevailing trends. I have always been happiest at the cutting edge of business and investing, and I feel First Capital is positioned to offer disciplined, professional access to a new era of opportunities.”
“With the addition of Chris, I feel strongly that we have assembled a leadership team that is second-to-none,” stated Executive Managing Director Gary Graham. “Chris’ background and skillset fit precisely with the goals of First Capital Ventures and Viridis Fund I. The knowledge base and personal drive Chris brings to the table makes even more compelling the First Capital value proposition.”