CHICAGO 12/18/2007--Ceres Venture Fund, LP, a venture capital fund based in Evanston, is proud to announce that it has invested in Brill Street + Company, a specialized Chicago-based talent development firm that places college and graduate students on short-term business projects and assignments. The investment round also included Chicago-based OCA Ventures and T-Gap Ventures based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Brill Street was co-founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs David Frej and Nancy Lerner. They started the company in response to their perceived need to create an organized marketplace where vast numbers of high performing college students can gain access to meaningful, paid career-building assignments in the corporate workplace.
"The closing of this venture transaction marks a real turning point for Brill Street as we emerge from a proof-of-concept phase to a company poised for national expansion," explains David Frej. "The capital we have raised allows us to take a powerful new talent development concept to a national market. In exchange, we are excited to leverage the wealth of experience that our venture partners bring to the table."
As a first step toward achieving its expansion goals, the company recently hired a new CEO, Gilles Tanneur, an senior industry veteran, and a new Managing Director, Matthew P. Rausch, both formerly of Adecco. Gilles, whose experience includes running North American operations and starting up operations on the ground in China, explains, "Brill Street is targeting a market that desperately needs attention as baby boomers retire and companies of all sizes attract and compete for a fresh talent stream."
Laura Pearl, Managing Director at Ceres Venture Fund and a Brill Street board member, comments, "Brill Street represents the kind of best-in-class ideas that fuel our investments. We fully expect their combination of practicality, economic benefit, and high purpose will drive rapid adoption by companies big and small."
Ceres Venture Fund, L.P. is one of the few venture capital funds focused on high growth investment opportunities in the information technology, healthcare and business services areas in the Midwest. With more than 60 years of experience in venture capital and operating early stage companies, Ceres' principals, Sona Wang, Donna Williamson, and Laura Pearl, have collectively invested more than $130 million in capital. Ceres is based in Evanston, Illinois.