Max is the Managing Director of Heartland Ventures, which he founded in 2016.
He started Heartland with the intention of doing what no other venture capital fund has done: connecting established Midwestern companies with coastal startups to give business leaders a voice in the tech transformation of their industries.
By building a network of strategic investors composed of private, primarily middle market, often rural, and mostly multi-generational business owners and operators, Max has been able to create the largest network of mid-market tech buyers in the Midwest.
Max consistently analyzes Midwestern business trends to gain insights into pain points, tech needs, and operational opportunities. He handles the fund’s relationships with other venture capital partners and oversees key investment decisions with the Heartland team. To date, Heartland has invested in nine, high-performing portfolio companies. He also leads fundraising efforts for the firm. Fund I has been fully invested and Heartland closed on a larger Fund II in early 2021.
Max has been entrepreneurial from a young age. At 14, he purchased his first investment property, a rundown duplex in northern Wisconsin, using money from a small landscaping company he had started. Over the years, he grew the single property into a 450 residential unit portfolio. Once he got to college, he used a class project to create a patented paper product called CleanSlate that prevents academic cheating on tests. CleanSlate won an Edison Award for innovation and was subsequently licensed.
Max received a B.S. in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, graduating with Honors and High Distinction. He has been recognized as Executive of the Year by Columbus Business First and was named as a Future 50 Member by Columbus CEO. Max serves as a founding board member of Startup South Bend and is on the Smart Manufacturing Advisory Committee for the State of Indiana.