Founder, Lofty Ventures
Chris is the founder of Lofty Ventures, which builds long-term relationships with Chicago’s next generation of passionate and brilliant founders. Investments range from five to six-figures in pre-seed to seed stage startups. Lofty’s portfolio includes Turbo Appeal (acquired), teaBOT (Y Combinator), Popular Pays (Y Combinator), Tovala (Y Combinator), Cubii (acquired, #180 on Inc500), L Street Collaborative, Blitsy (acquired), 4Degrees (Techstars), Paladin (Techstars), Gather Voices and (LAUNCH). Over two-thirds of Lofty’s 50+ portfolio companies are led by at least one female and/or underrepresented founder. Chris spent four years as VP of business development with Loft Development Corporation, his family’s Chicago-based commercial real estate business, which brought the concept of lofts from New York to Chicago in the 1960s. Loft sold its portfolio of six office buildings and two self/wine storage facilities in 2016.
In addition, Chris is the founder of the nonprofit-focused home-sharing platform WeCasa, an LP in social venture fund Impact Engine (IV), and a member or board director of the following civic and/or nonprofit organizations: the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Emerge curatorial group, Chicago Ideas’ Radical Creators, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s MakeWork council, Social Venture Partners Chicago, and Outreach With Lacrosse & Schools. He has been a mentor, judge or speaker at Kellogg School of Management, Pritzker Law School, University of Chicago, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, Impact Engine, Techstars, Women Tech Founders, National Association of Realtors, U.S.-Japan Council, Cradles To Crayons, Embarc Chicago, Future Founders, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, and NASA iTech.
Chris earned his BA in economics from Vassar College, where he played varsity lacrosse, basketball, and rugby. He previously coached Chaparral High School’s lacrosse team (Scottsdale, AZ) for six years and helped lead them to five championship appearances and three state titles in 1999, 2002, and 2004.