J.B. Pritzker is an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Pritzker Group, a private investment firm with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles. Pritzker Group comprises three professional investment teams: middle-market acquisitions, technology venture capital, and asset management.
Pritzker Group Private Capital acquires middle-market manufactured products, services and health care companies. The group includes a growing family of companies including investment castings manufacturer Signicast, pallet rental leader PECO Pallet and medical device maker Clinical Innovations.
Pritzker Group Venture Capital, founded in 1996 as New World Ventures, is the largest technology venture investor based in the Midwest. The firm invests nationally in rapidly growing technology companies at all stages of their growth, with a principal focus on enterprise software, ecommerce and managed services. The firm has had numerous successes including Fleetmatics (NYSE: FLTX), SinglePlatform (acquired by Constant Contact), Chegg (IPO filed), Awesomeness TV (acquired by Dreamworks), Playdom (acquired by Disney), LeftHand Networks (acquired by Hewlett-Packard) and TicketsNow (acquired by Ticketmaster). Pritzker Group Asset Management partners with leading investment managers across the global public markets.
Mr. Pritzker is a leading proponent of entrepreneurship and a stronger technology sector focus in the Midwest. He chairs ChicagoNEXT, the mayor’s council on innovation and technology, and founded 1871, Chicago’s digital startup center. He played an important role in the creation of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the nation’s top regional private equity association, and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, the leading regional advocate for entrepreneurs. He also co-founded Chicago Ventures and funded the startup of Techstars Chicago and Built in Chicago.
In addition to his business interests, Mr. Pritzker is an active philanthropist. Together with the Gates, Buffett, Harris and Kaiser foundations, the Pritzker Family Foundation is a principal backer of the First Five Years Fund, a national organization committed to improving the lives of at-risk children by leveraging cost-effective investments in early learning. He also helped establish the Pritzker Consortium on Early Childhood Development at the University of Chicago, led by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman. Mr. Pritzker led the campaign to build the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, a world-class international institution dedicated to human and civil rights and to teaching the universal lessons of the Holocaust, and he is an active civic leader and engaged board member of a number of other cultural, educational and business organizations.
Mr. Pritzker’s political engagement spans three decades. In the 1980s, he worked as a legislative aide and policy advisor to three members of Congress. In the 1990s, he founded Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century, a national organization dedicated to attracting voters under 40 to the Democratic Party, and ran for U.S. Congress. In 2008, he served as national co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Mr. Pritzker earned an A.B. in political science from Duke University and a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law. He lives in Chicago with his wife, M.K., and their two children.