John Neis
Executive Managing Director

John joined Venture Investors of Wisconsin, Inc. in May of 1985 and served as its Vice President and on the Board of Directors. He became a Managing Director of Venture Investors in 1997.

John has extensive experience as a director of portfolio companies, including his current directorships at Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals, Cellectar BioSciences, Delphinus Medical Technologies, TAI Diagnostics, Virent, and Great Lakes Pharmaceuticals. He has experience in assisting companies from inception to public markets. He joined the Board of Third Wave Technologies. when they had three employees and served through the initial public offering (they were subsequently acquired by Hologic for $580 million), and he joined the Board of TomoTherapy. when they had one employee and served through their public offering, which was the fourth largest healthcare IPO in the first decade of the millennium. Other notable past directorships included NimbleGen Systems, which was acquired by Roche for $272.5 million, and Inviragen, which was acquired by Takeda for up to $250 million.

Involvement in Community & Venture Ecosystem:

  • Board of Directors, Wisconsin Technology Council
  • Advisory Board, Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship (WAVE), School of Business, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Expert Testimony, Patent Reform, U.S. Congress on behalf of National Venture Capital Association
  • Contributor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Chairman, Advisory Committee, Tandem University Press, School of Education, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Education & Certifications:

  • B.S., Magna Cum Laude, Finance, University of Utah
  • M.S., Marketing and Finance, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Chartered Financial Analyst

Hobbies:

John is an avid bicyclist (4,000 miles in the past year!) and cross country skier. He has completed 25 American Birkebeiners, and three other Worldloppet races in Norway, Germany, and Italy.

John is a patron of the arts, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Tandem Press. His wife is an artist whose narrative works utilize multi-channel video projections, sound as environment, photography and sculpture. Together, they renovated an early 20th century downtown church building as a live/work space in Madison. They run the building as a project space for local artists to practice their craft and have hosted events in aerial dance, theatre, music, film, and art.