Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, Ann Arbor
Christopher L. Rizik is the Chief Executive Officer and Fund Manager of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. With two decades of experience in technology, finance and law, he has played a principal role in over 50 multi-million dollar venture capital transactions.
Rizik was appointed to the MEDC Executive Committee in 2011.
Rizik most recently 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. Previously, he served as a founding partner of Avalon Investments, Inc., a $100 million Ann Arbor, Michigan-based venture capital firm targeted at investments in technology-oriented ventures. During his tenure at Avalon, the firm received four consecutive “Deal of the Year” awards from the Michigan Venture Capital Association.
Prior to joining Avalon, Rizik was a senior partner with Dickinson Wright PLLC, one of the Midwest’s oldest law firms, where he led the Emerging Company department. He also passed the Certified Public Accounting examination and worked at PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
Education and Personal
Rizik received an undergraduate accounting degree with high honors from Michigan State University and a law degree with honors from the University of Michigan.
He is the chairman of NextEnergy, the public/private economic development organization formed by the State of Michigan to advance alternative energy technologies in the state. He also is a board member and investment committee chairman of the First Step Fund, an innovative fund that invests in emerging Michigan companies. Rizik is the founder and publisher of SoulTracks.com, the most popular online soul music magazine in the U.S., and also serves on the boards of various technology companies as well as other community, charitable, and economic development organizations.
In early 2010, Rizik was named a “Newsmaker of the Year” by Crain’s Detroit Business magazine for his leadership role in the venture capital and innovation communities.