Heather Hartnett, 1999 graduate of Maharishi School, was recently included in a Wall Street Journal article on a new venture capital start-up company. A shortened version of the article, “Human Ventures Names CEO as Startup Studios Proliferate,” is posted below. Click the linked title to read the article in its entirety.
In a time of experimentation in venture capital, Human Ventures is the latest to move beyond the traditional approach to funding startups.
Human Ventures has brought on Heather Hartnett, formerly with venture firm City Light Capital and before that the David Lynch Foundation, as chief executive. Mr. Marchese, who is now with 21st Century Fox full-time, is executive chairman at Human Ventures. He is also supplying capital to the studio.
Startup studios are one of several new, experimental approaches to venture capital, especially related to early-stage funding. More accelerators, crowdfunding platforms and micro-venture funds are getting into the system.
Human Ventures isn’t seeking outside capital, according to Ms. Hartnett. Its investment arm, Human Ventures Capital, already co-led a $15 million Series A investment in Reserve Media Inc., a restaurant booking and payment app startup that Mr. Marchese co-founded.
Ms. Hartnett said she would be assembling a team to help launch startups. Three projects are already under way at Human Ventures, she said. The firm will focus first on mobile, consumer, financial technology, health care and some social impact projects, she said.
She said the studio model has the advantage of generating ideas and then looking for the optimal people to bring them to fruition, while providing all the necessary resources for an idea from the start.
But at the same time, there are downsides, such as uncertainty. Ms. Hartnett said she isn’t sure how many projects will be launched, at what rate, and when they would be spun out. It also is unclear what the financial structure between Human Ventures and the resulting startups would look like.
According to the WSJ article, this new cutting-edge venture capital structure will have its own challenges and rewards, ones that time and experience will reveal.