Our industry lost an icon. David Morgenthaler, one of venture capital’s founding fathers, held deep roots in our state and is considered to be the grandfather of venture capital in Ohio.
Morgenthaler started Morgenthaler Ventures in Cleveland in 1968, one of the nation’s first venture capital firms that would go on to invest in more than 325 startups and raise more than $3 billion in financing over the span of his career.
His work impacted the industry as a whole, leading the way on policy and legislation that incentivized the creation of entrepreneurial companies and encouraged the flow of money into venture capital overall. Morgenthaler was one of the founding fathers and presidents of the National Venture Capital Association and was recognized for his work on monumental policy issues when he was awarded its first lifetime achievement honor.
Adding to his impressive venture capital accomplishments, Morgenthaler’s philanthropic work included serving as a trustee of the Cleveland Clinic, funding a Carnegie Mellon University professorship of entrepreneurship and serving on the Science, Technology and Economic Advisory Board of the National Academies, which advises the White House.
In recognition of his enduring leadership and outstanding accomplishments in Ohio and beyond, Morgenthaler received VentureOhio’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, which now proudly carries his name. Morgenthaler always made sure to remind us at VentureOhio of our state’s deep roots in venture capital and that the next trends in investing are now happening where he began it all – Ohio.
As a legend, colleague, friend and mentor to all of us at VentureOhio, he will be remembered not only as a trailblazer in the venture capital industry, but also as an incredible man who contributed so much to his family, community, philanthropy and country. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues during this time.