BizStarts Milwaukee honored Jeff Rusinow as an Inspirational Entrepreneur for his leadership in angel investing in Milwaukee on August 7, 2012. The award recognized him for introducing angel investing in Milwaukee: his leadership in his early-stage venture capital company Silicon Pastures was the first angel investing network in the Midwest and has encouraged entrepreneurship for thousands of startup firms since he founded it in October, 2000.
Speaking to a reception of 140 people, Rusinow described his business philosophy by first recognizing a significant need to support startups in our region. “Angel investing wasn’t in the lingo of Milwaukee. I felt I needed to do more than encourage others to put their money at risk. Being an angel is also being available to mentor, advise and coach. Now, we have seen BizStarts and other organizations provide support in significant ways.” And, he added, “I love the idea of building something from nothing.”
As a successful entrepreneur, Rusinow is Chairman and lead investor of Aurora Spectral Technologies, on the boards of Death’s Door Spiritsand Asthmapolis, and lead investor of the residential mortgage company Thompson Kane. As President of ETR Group, LLC, he previously owned and managed the world’s largest Christmas-specific portal on the Internet, Christmas.com.
He has published What I Really Think, a book of business principles with clear and profound business insights he has practiced and lived in his successful business and non-profit career.