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Wisconsin 275
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Richelle Martin

Emerging Industries  |  Venture Capital
Managing director
Winnow Fund  |  Madison

Richelle Martin manages the Winnow Fund, a pooled investment fund designed to back startups incubated in Wisconsin universities. The fund itself is backed by Johnsonville Ventures, MGE Energy Inc., Inventure Capital and The Capital Times. To date, it has raised more than $10 million and is actively making investments. Previously, Martin was assistant director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Industrial Partnerships.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School

Toughest challenge you’ve ever faced: “It may sound small, but working by myself. I’m used to being in an office as part of a team, and I’m a pretty social person. This is the first time I don’t have coworkers to bounce ideas off of or to distract me when I need a break, or to commiserate about a tough day. I have to be completely self-motivated, and when there are a lot of things that need attention, I have to manage them all.”

Top of your bucket list: “I want to start a second fund, and I want to be able to keep a plant alive.”

Nonprofit cause that has special meaning to you: “I’ve been working with the Justin J. Watt Foundation for over a decade. I started as a law student in UW’s Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic, helping J.J. create the organization. I now serve as a director on the foundation’s board.”

Favorite restaurant: “Ha Long Bay in Madison. My usual order is the cà tím xào dòn (eggplant stir fry), with veggie curry puffs as an appetizer.”

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