Dana Guthrie is managing partner at Gateway Capital, a Milwaukee-based venture capital fund dedicated to investing in pre-revenue startups. A software engineer by training, Guthrie raised $13.5 million within eight months, and the fund began making investments in startups last year. Health data technology startup Geno.Me recently launched its data exchange platform and relocated from Madison to Milwaukee as a result of Gateway Capital’s investment. Guthrie previously founded and managed Alchemy Angel Investors, an angel investment network focused on early-stage startups, while working for Johnson Controls.
Education: Bachelor’s, Milwaukee School of Engineering; Master’s, University of Illinois Chicago
What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
“Dairy Queen – I learned that I’m not cut out for fast food / customer service.”
If you could have dinner with any two business leaders, who would you choose?
“Robert F. Smith and Rihanna.”
What are some of your favorite destinations/places to visit?
“Anywhere with sun, sand, and sea.”
What is one book you think everyone should read?
“I have two: 1) ‘The Color of Money – Black Banks & The Racial Wealth Gap’ and 2) ‘The Alchemist.’”
What’s your hobby/passion?
“Biking (or spinning), swimming, listening to music.”
What was your first car? How long did you drive it for?
“’95 Honda Accord with ground effect lights. I drove it until I left for college. My brother then totaled it.”
If you could take a one-year sabbatical, what would you do?
“Travel the globe.”
What has been your/your company’s most significant success over the last 12 months?
“We successfully closed our first fund oversubscribed with significant institutional support and have since provided seed funding to highly scalable startups led by founders of all different backgrounds.”
As you enter your office, what would you choose to be your walk-up theme song: “‘I’m the Best’—Nicki Minaj. It’s one of those songs that make you feel like you can accomplish anything. It’s a ‘hype yourself up’ song.”
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
“Leaving my corporate role to raise capital for a venture capital fund.”
What’s at the top of your bucket list: “I’d like to have multiple portfolio exits, resulting in outsized returns for our investors.”
What has you most excited about the future?
“I’m excited to see the growth of existing Gateway portfolio companies, as well as continuing to meet and work alongside new, passionate founders.”