CARRIE JONES:
 
Carrie Jones




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Executive Director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association in Ann Arbor. Jones works with the more than 115 member organizations on educational, networking, and advocacy activities. She has been especially focused on marketing Michigan's growing role as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship. The association recently reported that $120 million in venture capital was invested in 40 companies in Michigan last year, the most deals since the association began tracking the data. In addition, the state had 103 venture–backed firms in 2014, up 66 percent in the past five years. The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) recently received nearly $1 million in grant funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. for its Venture Upstart programs to support talent attraction efforts at venture capital firms and their portfolio companies. Jones came to the MVCA from the Michigan Film Office where she successfully administered Michigan's new film and digital media incentive and spearheaded an initiative connecting the state's film industry with the popular Pure Michigan campaign. Prior to that, she spent 11 years working for statewide elected officials, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. She has been recognized by DBusiness among its 30 in their 30s and as one of the Techweek 100. Jones received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Furman University.


WHERE BORN: “Flint, and I was raised in Fenton.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “There are so many amazing people I've worked with, and I try to learn something from everyone. The most influential has been my dad. He's a great source of common–sense knowledge and I find that to be incredibly helpful.”

LAST BOOK READ:The Fault in Our Stars (by John Green) to see what the hype was about. Before that, it was Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert Massie.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Hilarious, exciting, energetic, passionate. Other words would be compassionate, hardworking, kind, and smart.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The future is bright for Michigan. During the past five years, there's been tremendous growth in venture capital in Michigan. As industries continue to grow, it will have a huge impact on entrepreneurs in the state. They will have the capital they need to grow their business and stay in Michigan. I find it really exciting.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “One that I have yet to own – Avegant Glyph, a retinal–fused display with headphones from an Ann Arbor company. Also, a TurtleCell cell phone case that you can keep your headphones in. Other than that, my Fitbit and iPhone, like everyone else.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Michigan.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I am a slogger – a slow jogger –– and I love to do it. I do a number of half marathons every year and am involved in Girls on the Run.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Pizza.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I'm a pretty good iPhone photographer.’”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “I hope that someone will put a giant Michigan on my tombstone that says ‘she loved this place.’”