Pete Wilkins has informed the Hyde Park Angels Board of Directors that after much reflection, he intends to pursue the next chapter in his career and transition from his Managing Director role this summer. With nearly six years leading the organization, his contributions to HPA have been numerous and significant. To ensure continuity and our current momentum, Pete will remain in his role until a new leader has been chosen and a subsequent board-planned transition has been completed. After the transition, Pete will continue to be an active HPA member.
Thanks to Pete’s leadership, HPA is among the most active early-stage investors in the Midwest, and our investment performance ranks among the best in the country. With a new leader, and with strong support from the HPA team, membership, and Board of Directors, HPA is poised to continue its positive trajectory.
Pete explained, “At my core, I’m an entrepreneur. I love to build things. Given the incredible success we’ve had at HPA, I can comfortably say this chapter of my career is written. I’m ready to take on my next challenge. I’m thankful for everyone’s support during my tenure as Managing Director. While we accomplished a great deal, I’m convinced our best days are ahead for both HPA and the greater Chicago startup ecosystem.”
“We are confident that we will attract a new leader with similarly outstanding skills, experience, and passion for HPA’s mission,” said Bob Giammanco, HPA Chair and CEO of 2XL Corporation. “The HPA Nominating and Governance Committee is tasked with leading the efforts to find the next Managing Director, and we intend to conduct an exhaustive search.”
For his next challenge, Pete will explore a new leadership position, where his experience investing in and building companies across multiple industries will allow him to maintain a prominent role in the space. He will also continue in his current board and advisor roles, and remain a champion of the Chicago entrepreneurial ecosystem and personal wellness.
The organization is in a strong position. Last year, HPA invested a record $17.4 million and returned more capital to investors than in the previous decade combined. Furthermore, the HPA portfolio is in excellent shape, with many of the 45 active portfolio companies leading their respective industries. Thus far, HPA’s portfolio companies have raised more than $1.1 billion in capital, generated $400 million in sales, and employed more than 2,500 people.
Although the data tells a great story, the founders of the HPA portfolio companies may tell an even better one. Katlin Smith, CEO and founder of Simple Mills, commented, “When you’ve got a leader who is as dedicated and experienced as Pete, it makes the entrepreneurial journey much more manageable and productive. The entire family of HPA companies — and the greater Chicago community — has benefited from his enthusiasm and passion.”
Matt Elenjickal, CEO and founder of FourKites, added, “Even before we had any employees or funding, Pete was a fervent supporter and believed that we could build a transformational company. HPA’s core philosophy of ‘people first’ has been instructive to our approach and played a key role in our growth.” HPA was an investor in the first and all subsequent rounds of capital raised by Simple Mills and FourKites, and both continue to be HPA portfolio companies.
As the HPA Board works with Pete to make sure the transition is seamless, they are grateful for Pete’s outstanding leadership and the countless contributions he has made to HPA’s success.