IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Corazon Capital

April 10, 2024

As the new member participants in the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) keeps expanding, the current membership are given new opportunities for networking, in addition to optimizing support and partnerships, which leads to guidance and new ideas for Venture Capital, Private Equity and support industries.

The latest new member is Corazon Capital … “Corazon” is Spanish for Heart … born from the love and passion for start-ups and entrepreneurs, Corazon Capital is a leading Chicago-based Venture fund, bringing a coastal approach to Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A investing. 

The following is a Q&A profile with Corazon Capital, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.

New Member: Corazon Capital
Representative: Tendai Brais, Head of Finance and Chief Compliance Officer

IVCA: What is a brief history of and background on Corazon Capital?

Corazon Capital: Corazon Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm founded over a decade ago by serial entrepreneurs, with the mission of bringing hands on operating experience and sector expertise to Seed and Series A investing. Corazon Capital’s co-founders, Sam Yagan and Steve Farsht, both have accomplished track records as investors and operators.

Sam co-founded SparkNotes, eDonkey, and OKCupid before posting up as CEO of Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) through its IPO and most recently taking the reins as the CEO of ShopRunner and leading its sale to FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX). As a General Partner at Norwest Equity Partners, Steve participated in its growth from five to twenty-five investment professionals. He honed his operating chops as CEO of DCM Services, a NEP portfolio company. After moving to Chicago, Steve immersed himself in the startup ecosystem, first as COO of Tap and then co-CEO of Techstars Chicago.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?

Corazon Capital: One of the reasons for joining was to further connect with professionals in the field, and to share in knowledge while doing so, within the VC/PE associative infrastructure.

IVCA: On your website, you list ‘Values’ as the heart of your approach to building start-ups and A series funding, including Authenticity, Courage, Humanity, Curiosity and Humility. How does getting away from business-speak define what the firm does within these ‘Values’? 

Corazon Capital: Simply ‘Love’ and ‘Passion.’ The firm was born out of a love for building startups and a passion for backing entrepreneurs.

IVCA: The firm lists close to 90 companies in your portfolio. What characteristics do you consider common when in the consideration of funding for the start ups or early entrepreneurs in that group?

Corazon Capital: There’s no such thing as “too early”. With a rare blend of investing experience and operational expertise, Corazon Capital provides unusually pragmatic, actionable counsel to the entrepreneurs it supports. Corazon Capital believes that the best entrepreneurs will intentionally solicit both financial and operating investors.

IVCA: Corazon is of course Spanish for ‘heart.’ How does ‘start with the heart’ define the philosophy of your firm, as a core element in your approach to pre-seed, seed and Series A investing?

Corazon Capital: As was expressed above, the philosophy lies in the passion for start ups in the building stage, and backing up the entrepreneurs we nurture.

For the website of Corazon Capital, click here.

Sponsors Ropes & Gray and Baker Tilly Present “State of the Debt Market” at the 2024 IVCA Spring Luncheon, coming up on May 8th, at The Chicago Club at 81 East Van Buren Street, Chicago. Click here to register and for more information.

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