Report Index

HIGH ENERGY VENTURE CAPITALIST CREATES INDUSTRY ENTRY PATHWAY

Matt Turner
President and CEO, Amherst Fund

Mentoring helps to pave the pathway to success for young people entering the highly competitive arena of venture capital and private equity investment, says Matt Turner, the president and CEO of Amherst Fund in Ann Arbor. “Professionals who work in this industry are always mentoring others, because they want to see them succeed and help them avoid potholes,”he explains. “Mentoring is also important for entrepreneurs who are launching new companies, in which venture capitalists may be a potential investors or future purchasers of innovative products and services.”Since joining the privately held investment company in 2004, Turner has reached back to the Ross School and the Zell Lurie Institute to impart the knowledge and insights he has gained over the past nine years. As a judge at the final round of the Michigan Business Challenge, he critiques business plans and investor presentations created by student start-up teams and provides feedback to young entrepreneurs seeking validation of their business concepts. Turner, who has been a panelist at Entrepalooza, also supports Finance Professor David Brophy's Financing Research Commercialization course by placing Amherst portfolio company founders and CEOs in the classroom where they bring live, current deals that challenge students to apply their skills. In addition, Amherst Fund provides sponsorship for the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium and hosts Marcel Gani interns, such as David Lin, EveningMBA' 12, who interned at the company in 2008, was recruited after graduation and currently serves as vice president of operations. Lin also is the founder of two start-ups, FlockTAG and Bubble Island, and sits on the board of portfolio company Espresso Royale. Turner works directly with student interns to expose them to due diligence, deal structuring, team-sheet negotiations and other aspects of managing an investment portfolio. “People engaged in venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurship like to see entrepreneurs build their ventures into sustainable businesses that provide value in others' lives,”he remarks. “That's what makes this industry so exciting.”