Christopher L. Rizik
CEO & Fund Manager for Renaissance Venture Capital Fund
Christopher L. Rizik is the Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. With three decades of experience in technology, finance and law, he has played a principal role in dozens of multi-million dollar venture capital transactions.
Prior to forming Renaissance, Chris served as a co-founder, partner, and Board member of Ardesta, LLC, an industry accelerator dedicated to the development of microsystems and other small technologies. Chris also co-founded and served as Managing Director of Avalon Investments, then Michigan’s largest venture capital firm. During his tenure at Avalon and Ardesta, he accepted four consecutive “Deal of the Year” awards from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.
Prior to joining Avalon, Chris was a senior partner with Dickinson Wright PLLC, one of the Midwest’s oldest law firms, where he led the firm’s Emerging Company department. He also passed the Certified Public Accounting examination and worked at PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Chris is also the founder of SoulTracks.com, America’s most popular soul music online magazine.
Chris is a member of the Executive Committee and serves as the Finance Chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the State of Michigan’s economic development organization. He also serves as chair of the Executive Committee of Detroit’s TechTown accelerator, is the immediate past chair of NextEnergy (Michigan’s advanced energy economic development organization), and chairs the investment committee of Detroit’s innovative community investment organization, the First Step Fund. Chris serves on the National Advisory Board of the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer and on the Board or the Advisory Board of several other community organizations, including the Detroit Medical Center, the New Economy Initiative and U of D Jesuit High School and Academy, as well as the advisory board of several venture capital funds. Chris was previously named by Crain’s Detroit Business magazine as one of its “Newsmakers of the Year” for his leadership role in the advancement of venture capital and entrepreneurship in Michigan, and is frequent lecturer and speaker.