Far From Wall St. and Silicon Valley, a Focus on Family Ties
When the hedge fund manager David Einhorn was just another investment analyst in the mid-1990s, his family gave him $500,000 to get his fund, Greenlight Capital, off the ground. Now that he is a billionaire after a career of doing battle with large corporations, he has returned the favor.
A world away from Wall Street and the tech money culture of Silicon Valley, the Einhorn family started a venture capital firm here, which raised a $40 million fund last year.
David Einhorn is the largest investor in the fund, run by his brother, Daniel, and their father, Stephen. The firm, Capital Midwest Fund, also led by another partner, Alvin Vitangcol, aims to tap the Midwestern work ethic and has ambitions of changing the way early-stage investments are run.
“This isn’t Silicon Valley, where you’re almost encouraged to fail a couple times, and your next opportunity is in walking distance,” said Daniel Einhorn, who is 40.
Capital Midwest, however, is still a smaller player in the sector. Located in an office building across the street from a strip mall near the edge of the city limits, the company got started years after prominent venture firms in the region and around the country had established themselves. Its fund is about a fourth the size of the industry average, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association.