Marian Miner Cook

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From Roots to Returns: The Journey of Venture Capital into 2024 and Beyond

Mon, January 22, 2024
Dinner Program
Hans Swildens

Joins Hans Swildens, founder and CEO of Industry Ventures, a leading venture capital firm with over $7 billion of committed capital under management, for a discussion of the history of the venture capital industry, current trends, debates, and thoughts on the future of venture capital. Mr. Swildens, joined by Spencer Taylor '24, will also discuss his personal history, how his firm operates, and his investment strategy.

Hans Swildens is the CEO and founder of Industry Ventures and manages the overall business. As an early pioneer of the modern secondary market for venture capital, Swildens created new ways to get liquidity for venture capital investments prior to an IPO or M&A event. Additionally, he was early to support the development of a new class of venture capital partnerships focused on seed and early stage investing during the last decade. He directs the firm’s investment processes, operations and limited partner relationships.

Earlier in his career, Swildens was a successful entrepreneur who co-founded and acted as President of Microline Software. Microline was acquired by Blaze Software (IPO) and was subsequently acquired by Fair Isaac. He also helped start Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai) and provided board advisory services to Discovery Mining (acquired by Interwoven), nCircle Network Security (acquired by Tripwire), and StepUp Commerce (acquired by Intuit). 

Mr. Swildens holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA with distinction from the University of California at Santa Barbara.


Founded in 2000, Industry Ventures is a leading venture capital firm with over $7 billion of committed capital under management. Industry Ventures invests in private technology and across the full venture spectrum. 

The firm has four distinct strategies, each of which invests at a different stage of the venture lifecycle: (1) seed / early-stage, (2) early-growth stage, (3) late-stage (i.e. secondaries), and (4) post-venture (i.e. tech buyout). 

This full-scale approach, along with the firm’s extensive network, is believed to be a key differentiator, allowing the Firm to generate a long-standing track record over the last 23 years. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Washington, DC, and London.


Mr. Swildens' Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Financial Economics Institute and the Randall Lewis Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, both at CMC.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
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Claremont, CA 91711


Phone: (909) 621-8244 
Fax: (909) 621-8579